Air Quality

Environmental health hazards

Air pollution can endanger your lung health in outdoor and indoor environments. Breathing air pollutants can cause numerous health problems, including lung cancer, asthma attacks, heart attacks, strokes and premature death. Respiratory visits to health care providers' offices, emergency room treatments and hospitalizations all increase when air quality worsens.

Despite progress in recent years, air pollution continues to be a serious problem. Today, more than 100 million Americans live in communities with unhealthy levels of air pollution. The Chicago metropolitan region still violates federal air quality standards for harmful ozone and particulate matter pollution.

It is important to recognize poor air quality as not only an outdoor problem, but an indoor problem as well. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ranks poor indoor air quality among the top five environmental risks to public health.

Due to the health impact of environmental pollution, Respiratory Health Association is working to:

  • Limit diesel soot pollution from construction equipment, buses, trucks and trains.
  • Reduce air pollution from dirty coal-fired power plants.
  • Support efforts to bring cleaner cars to Illinois.
  • Reduce the threat of deadly radon exposure.
  • Reduce motor vehicle idling.


More information

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For up-to-date information on Illinois air quality conditions and forecasts, please click here.