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Health Objectives for the Nation Clean Air National Health Objective for the Year 2000

An important national health promotion and disease prevention objective for the nation for 1990 was that "virtually all communities should experience no more than one day per year when air quality exceeds an individual ambient air quality standard with respect to sulfur dioxide, nitrous dioxide, carbon monoxide, lead, hydrocarbon and particulate matter" (1). However, this objective was not achieved. In 1989, approximately 84 million U.S. residents lived in counties where one or more of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency air quality standards had not been met (2).

One of the national health objectives for the year 2000 is to increase from 49.7% to 85.0% the proportion of persons who live in counties that have not exceeded any air quality standard during the previous 12 months (3). Collaboration of industries and other employers, community groups, individuals, and all levels of government are needed to achieve this objective.

Another objective for the year 2000 is a reduction in asthma morbidity, as measured by a reduction in hospitalizations for asthma, to no more than 160 per 100,000 persons (baseline: 188 per 100,000 in 1987) (3). Asthma affects approximately 10 million U.S. residents, and the reported prevalence of asthma is increasing. The report Healthy People 2000 suggests that environmental factors (e.g., ozone and other air pollutants) may have contributed to the increasing morbidity and mortality. National progress in reducing air pollution should contribute to reductions in hospitalizations for asthma (3). Reported by: Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Activity, Div of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, Center for Environmental Health and Injury Control, CDC.


  1. Public Health Service. Promoting health/preventing disease: objectives for the nation. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1980.

  2. Environmental Protection Agency. National air quality and emissions trends report, 1989. Research Triangle Park, North Carolina: US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Technical Support Division, 1991.

  3. Public Health Service. Healthy people 2000: national health promotion and disease prevention objectives. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1990; DHHS publication no. (PHS)91-50212.

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