CA Air in Critical Condition, Climate Action Needed, Lung Association Says

SoCal Campaign Features Urgent Call: My patients can't afford to breathe polluted air

02 Sep, 2015, 10:00 ET from American Lung Association in California

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- California's air is in critical condition and because of that, the American Lung Association in California today launched an online campaign featuring an urgent call to address climate pollution. The campaign features Dr. Felix Aguilar, a family practice physician who regularly administers breathing treatments to his patients in Los Angeles.

"Doctors in California are on the 'front lines' when it comes to breathing and respiratory illnesses because of the high levels of dangerous pollution millions of residents breathe every day," said Olivia Diaz-Lapham, President & CEO of the American Lung Association in California. "Physicians across the state stand together in backing leadership on clean air and climate because they see the direct impact of dirty air on their patients. That's why we initiated the Doctors for Climate Health Campaign."

"I treat asthma and seek ways to prevent it. I know that air pollution is a cause of asthma, and the warming climate is making our air quality worse," said Dr. Aguilar.  I work every day to keep my patients healthy, but air pollution makes my job harder." Dr. Aguilar is one of 32 California 'Doctors for Climate Health' who are backing the state's leadership on clean air and climate policy. Noting that climate change is a strong contributor to serious public health challenges, these doctors are also calling on state leaders to do more to improve our air quality and address climate change.    

"The rising temperatures we are experiencing in California aren't just uncomfortable—they are dangerous," said Afif El-Hasan, MD, a pediatrician and governing board member of the American Lung Association in California. "When the mercury rises, conditions become just right for pollutants, including ozone and particle pollution, to become even more lethal, especially for children." 

Climate pollution impacts air quality in many ways. In addition to facilitating the formation of ozone and other hazardous pollutants, the changing climate is linked to drought weather conditions that trap pollutants close to the ground and ongoing forest fires that create dangerous smoke.

Cleaning up air quality will help all Californians breathe easier, but children and seniors as well as those who suffer from asthma, COPD, heart disease, diabetes and other lung and heart ailments will benefit the most. Groundbreaking clean air and climate policies like AB 32 are already moving California in the right direction by making our air cleaner and healthier—but more must be done.

To join the doctors and health professionals who are working to clean up California's air quality through common sense clean air and energy policies, click here.

The new 'Doctors for Climate Heath' online campaign is being featured in a number of Southern California news outlet websites. To learn more about the campaign and share the urgent call for climate action from American Lung Association in California, visit our Facebook and Twitter (#ClimateHealth).

About the American Lung Association

Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is "Fighting for Air" through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit

Media Contact: Bo Smith, 310-359-6386

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SOURCE American Lung Association in California