Lung health begins with the air you breathe.
Polluted air puts everyone’s lungs at risk for asthma, COPD, and even lung cancer. And our loved ones living with asthma and COPD may experience worse symptoms on bad air quality days.
Unfortunately, more than 137 million Americans – over 40 percent – live in communities with unhealthy levels of air pollution.
We cannot create a world free of lung disease without addressing this. Cleaner air will help prevent lung disease and protect the health of people who already live with these conditions.
RHA is one of the leading health voices in the Illinois environmental community. We are dedicated to connecting the dangers of air pollution to health impacts. Our collaborations are leading to some exciting new opportunities that promise cleaner air and healthier lungs for everyone.
- We recently released a study with researchers at UW-Madison that shows positive health impacts of using clean energy. A transition to power sources like wind and solar may prevent nearly 2,000 people in Illinois from having lung problems (like asthma flare-ups) due to air pollution every year. You can read the full report here. Research like this is key to pass laws that will help everyone in Illinois breathe easier.
- Along with other groups, we are working toward a clean air future by supporting the Illinois Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA). This bill will reduce air pollution by focusing on renewable energy sources and electric transportation options. This includes significant investment in electric transit buses and charging hubs for personal vehicles. In addition, it includes a plan that converts Illinois to 100% renewable electricity by 2030.
- After years of RHA’s advocacy efforts, the governor announced a new plan in April that will allocate the remaining funds from a 2018 VW settlement for electrifying school buses, which contribute greatly to diesel pollution. Additionally, funds will be used for charging hubs across Illinois to promote electric car ownership.
- This past year, RHA partnered with organizations and residents in Chicago’s Southeast Side to protest the move of General Iron, a heavy polluting company, to their neighborhood. In May, the city announced a pause on the permitting process. They plan to do a more in-depth study into the health impacts of the move. We are hopeful this will result in a permit denial and commitment to protecting a community long plagued by unequal exposure to air pollution.
Only with your support can we continue the fight to protect our lungs from the damaging effects of air pollution. Together we can create a clean air future for all!