Shared Stories

We all have a reason to fight for clean air. Check out some personal stories below that highlight the need for healthy, safe air, and click here to submit your own.

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I developed interstitial lung disease four years ago. It is important to me not to lose any more lung function than I have now. My mobility has been reduced by about 30 to 40 percent, but I'm still getting around pretty well with a small amount of oxygen therapy at night. Clean air is critical for me. Read more...
My granddaughter, daughter and I all have asthma. Wearing a mask on "bad air days" seems to be the norm for me. I see that the county in Ohio where I live has an F rating. I'm not surprised. In fact, when steelmaking was thriving in Ohio, the air was even worse!! PLEASE FIGHT AGAINST AIR POLLUTION!!!!! Read more...
My husband has breathing problems and allergies. He has difficulty running as a result. I also have breathing problems, and my allergies have gotten A LOT worse. We have so many orange alert days that I cannot do my walking. Seizures have plagued my life since birth. This air pollution does not help. Read more...
I have COPD and secondary pulmonary hypertension and have been bothered by smoke from both wildfires and planned burns recently. The planned burns were done on windy days--not too smart. Also, in my class at pulmonary rehab, we were told not to exercise outdoors. That's pretty sorry state of affairs, wouldn't you say? Read more...
I had acute sinusitis a few weeks ago and allergies and it's seriously affecting my health. I live in Jersey City, NJ, and I just travelled to Atlantic City, NJ and came home again with sinus problems. We need clean air in Jersey City and throughout New Jersey. Read more...
I have had asthma my entire life. Most days I can't even go outside because it is either too humid or there is too much pollen. There's no telling what else is out there that I don't know about. I love being outside! I love planting a garden, enjoying the flowers and playing with my grandson outside. It is so very unfair to not be able to do things that other people take for granted! I think clean air is extremely important! Read more...
As everyone is opening their windows and venturing outside in their shorts and t-shirts, we close up shop here on the home front. By that I mean, we have to keep the windows and screen doors to our home shut. As an added precaution, we also need to keep the door to my son’s room closed to deter dust from other parts of the home from entering his sleeping space. Read more...
As an allergist, I have seen firsthand how badly people with asthma and allergies are suffering this spring. The mild winter here in Chicago has led to an early spring with unusually high volumes of tree pollen blowing in from Southern states. Weeds that typically do not grow this time of year are also in full bloom. This double whammy of potent allergen triggers has caused great suffering among my patients and others here in the Midwest. Read more...
I am a lung cancer survivor who had surgery and treatment one year ago. On behalf of all the cancer survivors who reside in Los Angeles County, I am hoping that our air will become much more healthful. Survival is difficult enough without environmental dangers. Read more...
My three oldest children (9, 7 and 5 years), as well as my wife, all have asthma. It is sad that our government representatives as well as the wealthy business executives over the Houston oil refineries choose profits over doing the right thing for people. Read more...
My wife and I live downwind from the Conoco-Phillips Rodeo CA refinery. This refinery has a checkered past including a serious incident in the 1990's in which it polluted the air with a dangerous cancer causing chemical known as catacarb. Read more...
My father smoked while I was growing up in the house, in the car, at the dinner table, and in my bedroom! It always took my breath! My husband did the same. I have never smoked, but I was diagnosed with sarcoidosis in the '80's. Read more...
I think being able to breathe in clean air whenever we are outside is important for us to stay healthy. All sorts of medical problems can arise if we don't get enough clean air and oxygen. Plus, the world around us looks prettier when the air quality is better. Read more...
I want clean air, because every day of my life I will be inhaling it. I'd like the healthiest air possible. Read more...
Growing up in Humboldt County California, I had no issues with asthma or any respiratory issues. However, after living in Sacramento, I developed these issues. Read more...
Our asthma rates are 20-40 percent in Elizabeth, NJ. Read more...
When I was 29-years-old, I moved to the most polluted city I'd ever lived in— Salt Lake City, Utah. I could taste it in the air at first, but then I got used to it. Read more...
As a nurse, I have seen first-hand the damage air pollution inflicts on my patients. Most children enjoy the arrival of spring because it means more time to play outdoors. For my asthmatic patients, however, the arrival of spring means more time spent coping with their symptoms. Instead of laughing, they cough; instead of playing, they wheeze; instead of getting excited, they become afraid. It is for these youngest and most vulnerable patients among us that I fight for clean air. Read more...
I’ve been reading the stories posted by other parents who, like I am, are raising children with asthma. Many of us have experiences that are too often left out of the discussion of the impact of asthma. Recently, my five-year-old daughter’s asthma was so severe that her violent coughing caused her to vomit. While such a reaction is not commonly thought of as an effect of asthma, those of us with asthmatic children know that at times vomiting can come with the territory. Read more...
Every cell in our body uses oxygen for optimal function. When the air we breathe is contaminated, those contaminants get into our lungs, sometimes deep within the lungs where the exchange of gases take place. Not only do the particles increase the risk of developing infections, emphysema or other lung disorders, they also interfere with the intake of oxygen and output of carbon dioxide. Read more...
I have severe COPD, which is my fault caused by 45 years of smoking. I have been told to quit, which I am working on. I have a really hard time breathing in severe cold/hot weather or if the air is hanging low. Read more...
I have reactive airway asthma and the air quality, or lack of it, in Mesa, AZ has me on steroids many weeks of the year. The result of taking so much prednisone is weak bones and weight gain that is causing all kinds of other health problems, including type 11 diabetes. Read more...
Why would anyone want to take away the clean air we breathe? Our government runs an air monitoring system that records our air pollution. If the air we breathe is cleaner than years past, why would they want to discontinue or change it? Read more...
The quality of the air means a great deal to me as I have been ill since age 7 with asthma. Over the years it has become life threatening. I have spent more time in the hospital than I do at home. Read more...
I moved from NYC to live in a cleaner environment. I have emphysema and I think I am doing okay - certainly better than I would have if I had stayed in NYC. Automobile polution is the most noticeable pollution that I come in contact with. I think a complete overhaul of the infrastructure for public transportation would help very, very much. Read more...
Clean air means: Health! It will give me great joy to know that my family, community and city can enjoy the outdoors without worries today and the years to come. Read more...
I just moved to Chicago last fall, and since then, I have had trouble breathing. Read more...
Our county received a failing grade. I'm not surprised by this. Practically everyone here either has a wood stove or fireplace. There are many days that we can't go outside of our own home. Read more...
I am originally from Los Angeles and just couldn't stand the pollution there anymore, so I travelled for work for several years hoping to find a place to settle. I ended up in Tulsa, OK first then Oklahoma City, OK and decided I like it here. Read more...
I grew up and still live in Orange County, CA. I have asthma which has worsened with age and struggle with breathing daily, especially during the summer when particulates seem to be highest. Read more...
My wife, best friend, and neighbor all have asthma. Read more...
I have to literally fight to breathe every day. I am a severe asthmatic that is steroid dependent. When there is anything in the air outside, I am greatly affected by it--pollen, smoke, exhaust, pollution, etc. Read more...
I live in Tolland, Connecticut and got asthma three years ago from mold in my workplace. Most of Connecticut has now and has in the past received a failing grade for its air quality. Read more...
I am 13 and I have asthma so, just the littlest things can cause me to become sick and not able to breathe. Read more...
I was diagnosed with asthma at a very young age. It’s something I’ve always known I had, but for a long time it wasn’t a huge issue in my life. As a child I had to have breathing treatments for an hour in the morning and an hour each the evening. Read more...
I'm fighting for air because I have asthma and lung disease. I think it is unfair for anyone to breathe in smoke and other pollutants in the air that can be stopped. Read more...
My next door neighbor began burning wood for heat in a wood stove. Our homes are close together, and our property, cars and even the inside of our home regularly become invaded with toxic, noxious wood smoke and fumes. Read more...
It was a clear day when I picked up my two sons following their elementary school day. The weather was very mild, the sky a beautiful blue, and a light breeze was present. As I approached the school's afternoon pick up line with my car's windows down, the acrid smell of smoke wafted in. In the distance, children were playing on the playgrounds amid billows of smoke that relentlessly engulfed the school grounds. Read more...
A little over a year ago my father was diagnosed with lung cancer. While he still battles the disease today, he is struggling more and more to keep healthy after a bout with pneumonia. Read more...
I’ve had respiratory issues my whole life. Growing up, I’ve always played sports and been very active. I first noticed my asthma symptoms at an early age when I would wheeze and struggle to recover after running around. Read more...
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