Our Clean Air Resources Will Take Your Breath Away!

ARTICLE | May 8, 2013

This month is Clean Air Month (supported by the American Lung Association), which aims to teach people about the importance and positive effects of clean air. According to a report by WhatHealth, each May brings with it the goal of educating the general public on four different subjects related to Clean Air:

What is it? “Clean air is air which has a natural balance of gases such as oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide.” It is air that does not harm people through allergies, health problems, or pollution.

Why is poor quality air bad? Poor quality air, or polluted air, has been linked to severe diseases such as bronchitis and cancer, and can make pre-existing conditions like asthma worse. In some cases, air pollution can even cause acid rain.  

Examples of air pollutants:

  • Acid Rain
  • Ozone
  • Toxic Air Pollution
  • Lead
  • Sulfur Dioxide (known simply as sulfur)
  • Particulate Soot
  • Carbon Monoxide

What is Clean Air Month? Clean Air Month has become a time to celebrate the positive effects of 1970’s Clean Air Act—which, according to the EPA, will prevent a projected 230,000 early deaths in 2020—and use the impact on public opinion that the act has had to pass more legislation and do more good for the environment.

Below are some examples you can find on the Knowledge Network topic pages: Air, Climate, WaterEnvironment; Public HealthSustainabilityEnergy Efficiency; and many other topic pages.

An ICMA article from last year’s Clean Air Month looks at examples from several cities and counties, and also mentions Bike to Work Week, which this year starts on May 13.  

Last year, Plano, Texas, was recognized for its Clean Air Action day, called

Elsewhere in Texas, the city of Denton has a partnership with Biodiesel Industries to use biodiesel in the city’s garbage trucks.

Evanston, IL was recognized as a top 10 city for Green Commuting in a recent study.

Read about a new website that assists Local Governments in advancing solar energy initiatives.

The topics listed above are all fantastic resources for clean air examples and ideas. You can also make use of the Knowledge Network’s Questions section to poll your fellow local government professionals and enthusiasts about clean air needs.

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