Press Releases

Tips for Protecting Your Lungs and Sensible Cleanup Precautions
Los Angeles, CA – October 29, 2003

Los Angeles County has issued a Health Alert, advising people to stay indoors to minimize exposure to pollution from smoke. People with respiratory problems such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis should monitor their breathing and exposure to airborne matter and consult with a physician immediately, should problems develop. Pollution from fire smoke will pose breathing hazards for many days after the fires are put out.

General Recommendations:

• People living in fire-stricken area should remain indoors and avoid inhalation of smoke, ashes and particulate matter in the air.
• It is recommended that people in the immediate and surrounding areas of the fires refrain from exercising outdoors; particularly if they smell smoke or notice eye or throat irritation.
• Drink plenty of fluids.
• When driving your car through smoky areas, keep your windows and air vents closed. Air conditioning should only be operated in the “recirculate” setting.

Who is most at risk?

• Children (they breathe more often, so exposure is heavier)
• Seniors (whose natural defenses against particulate matter are more limited)
• Pregnant women
And People with…
• Heart disease (lack of oxygen makes the heart work harder)
• Lung disease (asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, etc.)

Symptoms to watch for:

• Wheezing
• Shortness of breath
• Difficulty taking a full breath
• Chest heaviness
• Lightheadedness
• Dizziness

Note: Symptoms can come one or two days after exposure.

When to go to emergency room or call the doctor?

When suffering actual breathing difficulty such as wheezing or shortness of breath. If you or a loved one experiences breathing problems, call your doctor or visit the emergency room.

Pollution Forecast

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) advises the public to avoid all outdoor physical exertion, and try to remain indoors if at all possible in those area most affected by the smoke. For an Air Quality Forecast, the public should call (909) 396-2000.

Masks – don’t be overconfident. Incomplete sealing between skin and masks allows bad air to enter your airways.

Respirator masks offer different levels of protection depending on their design. The more complicated and expensive masks with true hepa filters are often a concern for physicians who have patients with lung disease, because these masks make it hard to breathe, and can actually exacerbate breathing problems. Note that people with lung disease should first speak to their practitioner before using respirator type masks.

The simplest smaller masks are known as dust masks. They filter large particles but are ineffective at filtering smaller particles.

Other, more expensive styles of respirators are available and usually found in industrial settings where workers are being exposed to industrial contaminants. The fit to the face is key and must be individualized. For example, the typical respirator is not a good fit for a woman’s smaller face and therefore can be improper and ineffective. Workers with facial hair such as beards will not have a tight fit when wearing a respirator.

Read the labeling and shelf life of the respirator to ensure that smaller particulate matter and other chemicals can be effectively filtered.

Sensible Cleanup Precautions

• Hose it down, don’t blow it around
• Change filters on furnaces, air conditioners, automobiles
• Wear an appropriate dusk mask during clean-up.
• If exposure to asbestos or other hazards materials are suspected, do not disturb the area. Dust masks do not protect against asbestos.
• Consider investing in a high-quality air filter.

For free information about lung health call the American Lung Association of Los Angeles County at or visit our website at


If you have respiratory problems (including asthma, emphysema, bronchitis and lung cancer) extra precautions are necessary. Your lungs are more likely to be sensitive to low doses of certain chemical or pollutants. Anticipate a flare up of your condition, and be sure to have a sufficient supply of medications on hand. Stay inside your home and remain calm. Try not to participate in activities that cause shortness of breath. Here are some other tips:

• Run the air conditioner (use the “recirculation” setting) and/or use your indoor air filter system. Although the call is out to conserve electricity, those in risk groups need clean air.

• Do not hesitate to consult with your doctor if problems develop; you have priority over those without lung disease.

• You may need to take extra medication as prescribed. Follow your asthma action plan or your doctor’s instruction to increase medication dosage or add new medication if symptoms worsen. If you have asthma and have been prescribed a controller medications, but have not been consistent with it, this is the time to be regular and consistent.

• If after taking medications symptoms persist, call your doctor. If you do not have instructions about what medications to take and you are having increased breathing difficulty, call your doctor.

• If you have a peak flow meter, use it as prescribed. Peak flow meters can provide valuable ongoing information about the status of your breathing.

• If you are using supplemental oxygen, do not alter your intake without a doctor’s instruction. Stay calm and concentrate on exhaling slowly.

In general, watch your breathing, take your medications, drink plenty of water (unless on fluid restriction), and follow your doctor’s instructions.

Symptoms to watch for:

• Wheezing
• Shortness of breath
• Difficulty taking a full breath
• Chest heaviness
• Lightheadedness
• Dizziness

Note: Symptoms can come one or two days after exposure. Small soot particles will remain suspended in the air for up to 7 days after the fire is out.

You should feel better after taking your medications as prescribed. However, if you are still having difficulty breathing, call your doctor or a local community clinic or urgent care center. If the symptoms above are severe or they are not relieved within 30 minutes after taking medications go to an emergency room.

Danger signs/symptoms, which indicate breathing difficulties that require an immediate visit to a hospital emergency room:

• Gray or blue lips and nail beds of the fingers or toes
• Gasping or panting for breath
• Severe headache (like a migraine) that is not relieved with aspirin or acetaminophen
• Severe pain in the chest, can’t take a deep breath
• Pain or cramps in the pit of the stomach that won’t go away.
• Changes in speech, can’t finish a sentence without losing one’s breath
• Changes in vision, blurred vision

Note: It’s natural to experience watery eyes, stuffy or drippy nose, even a cough. Those are not emergencies, if you are a normally healthy adult. Treat with over-the-counter decongestants, cough medicine, nasal spray, or saline.

On the other hand, if people with lung disease are experiences these symptoms, medical attention could be necessary.

Keeping it cleaner indoors

• Don’t smoke
• Don’t use spray products—use solid type air fresheners and avoid hairspray
• Don’t’ use strong chemical cleaning products
• Dust with damp cloths
• If needed, run air conditioning with filter

Sensible Cleanup Precautions. Those with lung disease should not be involved in the clean up process at all. For those not in risk groups:

• Hose it down, don’t blow it around
• Wear a dusk mask during the clean up
• Change filters on furnaces, air conditioners, automobiles
• Consider investing in a high-quality air filter.

The American Lung Association of Los Angeles County is your community resource for lung disease prevention, research and education. During regular business hours call 1-800-LUNG-USA
for more information.

Press Release Archives

Children With Asthma Honored:
Little Lungs First Graduation Ceremony

(June 28, 2003)
Golf Tournament Aims to Raise Funds for Respiratory Hospital
Proceeds Used to Help Send Inner-City Youth to Asthma Camp

(May 22, 2003)
(Oct 25, 2003)
Volunteer Orientation June 1st

(May 1)
Ethnic, Racial, Regional Disparities in Tuberculosis Rates Prompts Lung Association Call for Congress to Bolster Funding
(March 20, 2002)
New Children’s Website Linking Health, Clean Air to Launch February 12th “024U” Features Clean Air Game, Asthma Info., BrainPOP Movies & More
(February 8, 2002)
New Children’s Website Linking Health, Clean Air to Launch February 12th “024U” Features Clean Air Game, Asthma Info., BrainPOP Movies & More
(February 8, 2002) Media Alert
Kevin Sorbo is Christmas Seals® Celebrity Chair
Star of “Andromeda” Promotes Healthy Lungs This Holiday Season

(November 07, 2001)
Actor Dawnn Lewis to Promote Christmas Seals®Creative Dynamo Joins Holiday Tradition to Fight Lung Disease
(October 22, 2001)
Anthrax Update
(October 17, 2001)
Christmas Seals® are in the Mail
a Beloved Holiday Tradition Continues

(October 8, 2001)
9-11 Respiratory Assistance Fund Launched To Aid Victims of Terrorist Attack
(September 19, 2001)
Hollywood Opens Its Heart To Filmmaker
(August 31, 2001)
Camp For Children With Asthma
Providing Children with Asthma the Opportunity to Enjoy a Camp Experience While Learning to Cope with Their Asthma

(June 21, 2001)
Clean Energy = Clean Air Campaign Launches Today: LADWP Green L.A. Program and American Lung Association of Los Angeles County Join Forces To Promote Clean Energy 
(June 6, 2001)
Family Asthma Awareness Day May 19th
Community Event At Old Timers Family Center In Huntington Park

(May 19, 2001)
American Airlines, Toyota And California Secretary Mary Nichols To Receive The "Breath Of Life" On May 16
American Lung Association Of Los Angeles County's Top Honor Awarded To Those Who Make A Difference In The Air We Breathe

(May 14, 2001)
Power Crisis Means Smoggy Summer
Los Angeles Flunks "State of the Air" Clean Air Test
(May 1, 2001)
American Lung Association to Honor American Airlines, Toyota, and California Secretary Mary Nichols with Breath of Life May 16
(April 13, 2001)
Family Asthma Awareness Day March 31st
Community Event at Drake Park in Long Beach

(March 31, 2001)
Be a Sweetheart and Butt Out!
Log On to the American Lung Association's New Freedom From Smoking® Online Smoking Cessation Program

(February 14, 2001)
Christmas Seals® For a New Age
New Holiday Ornament Taps Into Baby Boomer Nostalgia - E-Seals Broadens Appeal to Internet Generation

(November 29, 2000)
Fred Willard makes Hollywood Christmas Parade "Best in Show" on November 26th
(November 20, 2000)
"Captain Jorge" of KABC TalkRadio Tees Off For Clean Air on October 30
Proceeds to Benefit the American Lung Association

(October 12, 2000)
Christmas Seals® Are In The Mail
A Beloved Holiday Tradition Continues

(October 5, 2000)
Olympic Style Track & Field Event for Children with Asthma is November 5th
(September 7, 2000)
Phillip Morris Exposed: Campaign to Unmask the Truth Behind Big Tobacco's "Charitable" Giving
(August 30, 2000)
Tee Off At The Fairway To Clean Air Golf Classic October 30
(August 14, 2000)
LA Convention 2000 Declares Independence from Big Tobacco
(July 5, 2000)
Giving the Breath of Life: Awards Gala Honors Outstanding Leaders and Raises Money to Fight Lung Disease
(June 2, 2000)
Statement by Enrique Chiock, President & CEO, American Lung Association of Los Angeles County, Regarding Today's MTA Board Decision to Purchase Compressed Natural Gas Buses
(May 25, 2000)
The "State of the Air" in Los Angeles - Los Angeles Earns "F" in American Lung Association Report
(May 23, 2000)
Beach Cleanup Goes "Undercover" - Los Angeles County Cleans Dirty Stormwater Underground
(May 18, 2000) 
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Children With Asthma Honored:
Little Lungs First Graduation Ceremony

Los Angeles - June 28, 2003

(Los Angeles, CA) The American Lung Association of Los Angeles County, in partnership with the Northeast Valley Health Corporation, is holding a special graduation ceremony on Saturday, July 6, 2002, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at the Pacoima Community Center, 11243 Glenoaks Blvd., Pacoima, CA 91331.

This special event will honor the 100 children with asthma who have gone through the Little Lungs project. Little Lungs is a community asthma project targeting children with asthma less than 5 years of age and their families in the San Fernando Valley. The goal of the project is to improve the management of asthma and the quality of life for children with asthma by implementing a coordinated approach to asthma-related services. This approach includes coalition-building, coordinated clinic-based services and provider education components.

Thanks to Little Lungs, participating children with asthma experienced more symptom-free days, and parents of children with asthma missed fewer workdays and expressed an improvement in overall quality of life due to better management of their child's disease. The American Lung Association recently received a two-year renewal grant from the California Department of Health Services Asthma Program to continue its work in the San Fernando Valley.Little Lungs graduates will receive diplomas and hypoallergenic stuffed animals. Lunch will be provided and HEPA-filter vacuum cleaners will be raffled away as door prizes.

More than 26.3 million Americans suffer from asthma, and more than a third of them (at least 8.6 million) are children under age 18. Asthma is the leading chronic illness among children, and is the number one cause of hospitalization among children under age 15.
The Pacoima Community Center is located at 11243 Glenoaks Blvd., Pacoima, CA 91331. For more information, contact the American Lung Association of Los Angeles County at x227 or visit our website at

Golf Tournament Aims to Raise Funds for Respiratory Hospital
Proceeds Used to Help Send Inner-City Youth to Asthma Camp
Los Angeles - May 22, 2003

Celebrating more than one hundred years of service to Southern California, Barlow Respiratory Hospital Foundation is hosting its fourth-annual golf invitational to raise money to support programs at the specialty respiratory hospital and within the community, including an asthma camp for inner-city youth, sponsored by the American Lung Association of Los Angeles County and aided by Barlow.

A portion of the proceeds from the golf tournament will help support the Children’s Health and Asthma Management Camp (CHAMP), where children learn to manage their asthma while having fun in the great outdoors. Barlow Respiratory Hospital collaborates with the American Lung Association of Los Angeles County to provide these youth with a safe, fun summer camp experience that they might otherwise not be able to enjoy due to their asthma condition. In addition to staffing the camp, Barlow provides inner-city youth with scholarships to attend CHAMP Camp, and the golf tournament helps to raise these funds.
The entire community is invited to come out in support of the golf classic that will be held on Friday, August 22, 2003 at Robinson Ranch in Santa Clarita, CA. Lunch, dinner, tee prizes and hole-in-one prizes, including $10,000 in cash and a new care, are just some of the festivities planned for this special day. Frank Miller, who is an eight-time RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship Finalist with a personal best of 445 yards – more than one-quarter of a mile, will provide a long ball demonstration. Join special guests from KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO, the event’s broadcast media sponsor, for a day of fun and evening of celebration with dinner and a silent auction following the tournament.

“We hope the community of friends building around Barlow will see this as a fun way to lend their support to the hospital and the many programs it provides in service to the region,” says Peter Kudrave, chairman of the Barlow Foundation Golf Classic Committee and long-time member of Robinson Ranch golf course.
In addition, some of the funds raised at the golf tournament will be contributed toward the hospital’s rehabilitation and research programs, as well as the multi-million dollar fundraising campaign launched last year during the hospital’s Centennial Celebration to build a new hospital so Barlow can continue to meet community needs for the next 100 years. As a unique respiratory treatment and research hospital, with facilities located next-door to Dodger Stadium and in Whittier as a part of Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital, Barlow must meet greater capacity demands and pave the way for more advanced research and technology in acute respiratory care.

The only one of its kind on the West Coast, Barlow is known in the medical community for successfully weaning ventilator-dependent patients when the general health system can do no more. The not-for-profit hospital partners with more than 90 regional hospitals to care for the critically ill. Barlow provides care and hope for patients who are likely bedridden, limited in their daily activities and dependent on machines to take their next breath.

For information, call 213-250-4200, ext. 3202. Barlow’s golf tournament will be held at Robinson Ranch, in Santa Clarita, CA at 27734 Sand Canyon Road.

Los Angeles - October 25, 2002

The American Lung Association of Los Angeles County began its annual Christmas Seals“ Campaign by mailing 1.1 million Christmas Seals to residents in Los Angeles County. More than 45 million households nationwide will receive Christmas Seals this year. Christmas Seals, a holiday tradition, is now in its 95th year, and raises millions of dollars nationwide for the American Lung Association.

With lung disease the third leading cause of death, donations to Christmas Seals will be used for funding lung health education and research programs for the prevention and cure of lung disease in Los Angeles County. Local programs include Open Airways For Schools“, Little Lungs, and an annual CHAMP CAMP (camp for children with asthma), tobacco control and prevention, and indoor air quality for schools. “Every little bit counts in the battle against lung disease,” said Enrique Chiock, President and CEO of the American Lung Association of Los Angeles County. “Donating to Christmas Seals will help fight lung disease and promote lung health here in Los Angeles.

” This year’s Christmas Seals are the beautiful Cardinal and Holly scenes. The seals are a special stamp issued by the Association for decorative use on letters and packages (not as postage) during the holiday season. It also serves as a reminder of the support the Lung Association receives through contributions. The first Christmas Seals were issues in 1904 and were sold in post offices throughout the United States for a penny a piece to raise funds in the fight against tuberculosis. To obtain Christmas Seals, call the American Lung association of Los Angeles County at .


updated 11-25-03  
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