Wednesday, April 25, 2012

State Of The Air - Erie County & WNY

Today, the American Lung Association released their State of the Air report. As someone who suffers from asthma, and on a daily basis worries about what triggers in the air will cause an asthma attack, I’ve been eagerly waiting to see how Western New York is doing. When this report was released last year, Erie County received an F, and for myself, and the thousands of others in the area who suffer from asthma, it just wasn’t acceptable.

The American Lung Association of the Northeast has worked throughout the year to help improve the air quality, and in essence, help ME fight for air. I am happy to report that this year, Erie County received a grade of C. It’s an improvement that makes me breathe a little easier, literally. However, a C is just average. I can tell you when I can’t catch my breath, knowing the air quality is just average isn’t good enough. We need to do more. As an adult, asthma attacks are terrifying. As someone who is very active, there have been way too many days where walking up one flight of stairs has caused me to be out of breath. The sad truth is that there are more and more children suffering from asthma, and I can only imagine how terrifying it is for them.

I’m not someone who gives over control easily. Breathing in air, that could potentially trigger an asthma attack, is something beyond my control, and it’s scary to go through days, especially when ozone levels are high, with my rescue inhaler close by. It may be something you take for granted, but because of my asthma, when I walk outside in the morning, I can tell the difference in air quality on high ozone, high particle pollution and high pollen days. 

In Western New York the only county that failed was Chautauqua County, while many others brought their grades up.  It is evident that progress has been made, through advocacy, research, and fundraising events (including the Fight for Air Climb that has been held in Buffalo for the past two years).

If you don’t suffer from asthma, or lung disease, odds are you know someone who does. Lung cancer is the number one cause of death in both men and women. By making some very easy changes to your daily routine, you can really help The American Lung Association bring that C grade up to an A. Cut down your drive time, don’t burn wood, and turn off electricity when you don’t need it, and you could save a life.

We need our local politicians to speak up for us, and make sure The Clean Air Act doesn’t get forgotten about. If you check out, you can find out more ways to get involved and improve the air quality across Western New York

I'm grateful everyday that I have outlets to advocate for the American Lung Association, and hope you seriously consider taking some steps to helping reduce the effects of ozone and particle pollution in our air! I personally thank you!

No comments:

Post a Comment