American Lung Association warns of increased pollution as temperature rises in Northeast
As the communities in the Northeast prepare for warmer temperatures this season, the American Lung Association urges residents here in New York and across the Northeast to be aware of the increased risk of ground-level ozone and take health precautions when levels are high.
One valuable resource is ALA’s free State of the Air® smartphone application, which monitors current levels of ozone and particle pollution and pushes out notifications when either pollutant reaches unhealthy levels in your area.
“Air pollution threatens the health of millions in the Northeast alone. With these increased temperatures, comes the increased threat of hazardous levels of ozone pollution,” said Jeff Seyler, president and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “We are happy to be able to provide this innovative tool so those with lung disease, and without, can effectively monitor their local air quality and take action to limit their exposure to dangerous levels of air pollution.”
Despite continued improvements in air quality, unhealthy levels of air pollution still exist in communities across the country. According to the Lung Association’s State of the Air 2013 report, more than 8.6 million people in the Northeast live in counties with dangerous levels of ozone or particle pollution, the two most widespread air pollutants.
The State of the Air app enables users to enter their zip code or use the geo-locator function to get current air quality conditions and the next-day air quality forecast. The app tracks levels of both ozone and particle pollution, and pushes out alerts if local air quality is code orange — unhealthy for sensitive groups — or worse.
Depending on the severity of the day’s air pollution, the app will provide vital health recommendations – advising that outdoor activities should be rescheduled or that people who work outdoors should limit extended or heavy exertion.
“High levels of air pollution can make people sick and send people to the hospital.” said Dr. E Neil Schachter, professor of medicine pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital. “That’s why during the upcoming summer months, all of us, especially people with lung disease, should pay particular attention to ozone levels and follow the recommendations when air quality alerts are issued. Being diligent and taking precaution can save a person a trip to the emergency room.”
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