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Breath Takes: Summer 1999

Summer, 1999
Vol. 6, No. 1

This is a portion of the American Lung Association of Los Angeles County's 1998 Breath Takes. ?If you would like to receive a complete copy, please call the American Lung Association at
or (800) LUNG-USA.

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Feeling better this summer? Experiencing fewer days with aching lungs, wheezing, coughing and headaches? Thanks to "La Nina," expect fewer Stage One smog episodes this summer, according to the latest data from South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). A Stage One episode is a 200 or higher rating on the pollutant standards index (PSI), a standard used to measure outdoor air quality. At Stage One, the air is considered very unhealthful, and everyone should avoid vigorous outdoor exercise.

Despite this good news, as of press time, 32 days have violated federal air quality standards in the Southern California Basin. Most of these days occurred in San Bernadino and Riverside counties, while so far Los Angeles County has experienced 2 days over the federal standards. A reading over 100 PSI violates federal air quality standards.

In comparison, 1998's "El Nino's" hot weather resulted in 62 days over the federal standards and 12 Stage One episodes.

Studies show that people who live in areas that exceed state and federal air quality standards 42 days or more per year have a 74% greater asthma risk and a 33% greater bronchitis risk, and women have a 37% higher risk of developing some form of cancer. Despite years of improvements, Los Angeles County still has the worst air in the nation, and the highest number of emergency room visits due to smog related illnesses. An estimated 1,600 people die prematurely in Southern California due to air pollution, and the primary cause remains exhaust from personal cars and trucks.

For more information, call ALALAC at 323-935-LUNG, visit or the SCAQMD website at

(Updated 10/05/99)

When You Can't Breathe, Nothing Else Matters ?
The mission of the American Lung Association of Los Angeles County
is to prevent and eliminate lung disease
and to improve the quality of life and health of those with lung disease.
Your contributions to Christmas Seals? and Chanukah Seals? help make the difference.

For more information on lung health, programs, and special events,
call ? ? (or ? ; ? ; ?1-800-LUNG-USA), ? or send us email.
? 1999 American Lung Association of Los Angeles County

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