Air Quality Awareness Week 2019 – Update: ‘Your Heart & Lungs’ and ‘Wildfires & Smoke’

For Air Quality Awareness Week 2019, besides the theme itself, which is, “Check the Air Quality Index & Get Outside,” each day, Monday through Friday, has a particular focus.

Yesterday’s (Apr. 29, 2019) focus was Your Heart & Lungs while today’s (Apr. 30, 2019) is Wildfires & Smoke.

These are two very important topics.

Starting with Your Heart & Lungs, being aware of the dangers of air pollution and the damage air pollution can cause to these vital organs cannot be stressed enough in my opinion.

Focusing on asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, and heart disease, in the United States alone, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data:

  • 26,515,000 suffer from the effects of asthma, which amounts to 8.3 percent of the nation’s total population

  • In 2014, the latest complete year for which data are available, the Age-Standardized Death Rate for COPD was 39.1 per 100,000 people, falling from 43.4 in 1999. Of particular note is the decline among men which from 57 deaths per 100,000 in 1999 dropped to 44.3 in 2014. Among women, between 1999 and 2014, the rate was, for all intents and purposes, unchanged, going from 35.3 COPD deaths per 100,000 in 1999 to 35.6 COPD deaths per 100,000 in 2014

That part of the population more vulnerable to the effects of air pollution include children, the elderly and people with debilitating conditions such as that caused by heart and lung disease.

For more, see the “Check the AQI & Get Outside” Your Heart & Lungs page here.

As to the Wildfires & Smoke matter as it relates, one can find a wealth of important and helpful protective information on the Wildfires & Smoke page here.

Meanwhile, expect update information on the “Check the AQI & Get Outside” Wednesday (May 1, 2019) focus: Air Quality Index & Sensors.

See you then.

Image (upper): U.S. National Institutes of Health: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

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