Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to site content
CDC Home

Persons using assistive technology might not be able to fully access information in this file. For assistance, please send e-mail to: Type 508 Accommodation and the title of the report in the subject line of e-mail.

Announcements: Air Quality Awareness Week — April 30–May 4, 2012

CDC is collaborating with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to urge persons to "Be Air Aware" during Air Quality Awareness Week, April 30–May 4, 2012. May also is Asthma Awareness Month.

Asthma sufferers are particularly affected by air pollution. One in 12 U.S. residents, or approximately 25.7 million persons, currently has asthma (1). Air pollution caused by industrial emissions and automobile exhaust can trigger an asthma attack. Planning activities for times when air pollution levels will be low can help asthma sufferers avoid attacks. Broadcast air quality forecasts and EPA's EnviroFlash ( both provide guidance in avoiding high levels of air pollutants.

Persons with asthma are not the only ones susceptible to the effects of air pollution. According to EPA, the average adult breathes >3,000 gallons (>11,000 liters) of air every day. Children breathe even more air per kilogram of body mass and are more susceptible to air pollution. Millions of U.S. residents live in areas where urban smog, very small particles, and toxic pollutants pose serious health concerns. Persons exposed to high enough levels of certain air pollutants might experience burning in their eyes, an irritated throat, or breathing difficulties. Long-term exposure to air pollution can cause cancer and long-term damage to the immune, neurologic, reproductive, and respiratory systems. In extreme cases, it even can cause death (2).

Information on Air Quality Awareness Week activities is available at Information on Asthma Awareness Month is available at Additional information about asthma is available from CDC at


  1. Schiller JS, Lucas JW, Ward BW, Peregoy JA. Summary health statistics for U.S. adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2010. Vital Health Stat 2012;10(252).
  2. US Environmental Protection Agency. Air and radiation: basic information. Washington, DC: US Environmental Protection Agency; 2011. Available at Accessed April 18, 2012.

Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

References to non-CDC sites on the Internet are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites. URL addresses listed in MMWR were current as of the date of publication.

All MMWR HTML versions of articles are electronic conversions from typeset documents. This conversion might result in character translation or format errors in the HTML version. Users are referred to the electronic PDF version ( and/or the original MMWR paper copy for printable versions of official text, figures, and tables. An original paper copy of this issue can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402-9371; telephone: (202) 512-1800. Contact GPO for current prices.

**Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO
A-Z Index
  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #