Category: Education

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Why Color the Days?: 

Why Color the Days? Janice E. Nolen, MS Director, National Policy American Lung Association

Why Color the Days?: 

Why Color the Days? Why do we bother? What could we do to improve the air? What should we do?

“Change Air Quality Index”: 

“Change Air Quality Index” Change requires public support

Some need to know more than others: 

Some need to know more than others

What do people need to know? : 

What do people need to know? When/ how to protect themselves Millions are at risk 137 million live counties where ozone levels are unhealthy American Lung Association State of the Air 2003 Risks are severe Air can be cleaner They can push for cleaner air

Dirty Air Makes People Sick: 

Dirty Air Makes People Sick Asthma attacks Increased medication use Doctor visits Hospitalization Increased risk of death

Cleaner Air = Better Health: 

Cleaner Air = Better Health Studies show reduced pollution results in significantly improved public health Atlanta, 1996 Dublin, Ireland, 1990s

Atlanta Olympics, 1996: 

Atlanta Olympics, 1996 Concern over Olympics traffic led Atlantans to reduce driving Telecommuted Took mass transit Ozone pollution declined over 25% Fewer people hospitalized for asthma Up to 44% drop in Medicaid claims Journal of the American Medical Association, 2001

Dublin, 1990s: 

Dublin, 1990s 1980s Dublin switched from oil to coal for home heating; pollution increased 1990 Irish Government banned coal marketing and distribution Study tracked health effects before and after ban Significant drop in death rates after ban Clancey et al, Lancet 2002.; Goodman et al, Environ Health Persp 2003.

What could we do?: 

A world where no one lives in a place with unhealthy air If we’re going to get there, what do we do? What could we do?

What should we do? Current tools: 

What should we do? Current tools Protect the Clean Air Act No undermining of existing protections Support adequate funding for the work Delays in NAAQS review risks health Clean up power plants Interstate transport regulations will help Clean up dirty diesel

What could we do?: 

What could we do? National Research Council report, Air Quality Management in the United States, 2004 Evaluated air quality systems and resources Recommended major evolutionary changes

Strengthen scientific/ technical capacity: 

Strengthen scientific/ technical capacity Improve emissions tracking New techniques and better inventories Enhance monitoring Expanded geographic coverage Improve modeling Access & monitor health effects Advance multi-pollutant approaches

Expand control strategies: 

Expand control strategies Expand emissions-control measures Especially heavy equipment diesel Reduce emissions from existing sources, especially power plants “regardless of their age, status, or fuel.” Address multi-state transport

Transform State Air Management Plans: 

Transform State Air Management Plans Make SIPs address multiple pollutants Retain & strengthen transportation conformity More resources for NAAQS review Especially if multiple pollutants targeted

Why do we color the days?: 

Why do we color the days? We help people protect themselves We build support that is essential to improve the air we breathe. We color the days so everyone can see the problems clearly.


Celebrating its 100th anniversary, the American Lung Association works to prevent lung disease and promote lung health. Lung diseases and breathing problems are the leading causes of infant deaths in the United States today, and asthma is the leading serious chronic childhood illness. Smoking remains the nation’s leading preventable cause of death. Lung disease death rates continue to increase while other leading causes of death have declined. The American Lung Association has long funded vital research on the causes of and treatments for lung disease. It is the foremost defender of the Clean Air Act and laws that protect citizens from secondhand smoke. The Lung Association teaches children the dangers of tobacco use and helps teenage and adult smokers overcome addiction. It educates children and adults living with lung diseases on managing their condition. With the generous support of the public, the American Lung Association is “Improving life, one breath at a time.” For more information about the American Lung Association or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or log on to

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