Take Action

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As doctors we need to advise patients and communities about the health risks from air pollution and measures to prevent those. We will empower them to act. 
— Dr. Carlos Dora, MD, PhD, Former coordinator, Public Health and Environment, World Health Organisation

Become an Inspire Champion

Think global, act local.

Air pollution is a global problem with local solutions. By demanding air quality monitoring and management of pollution sources from your local governments and communicating the health risks of air pollution to your peers and patients, you can begin to affect regional and even global change.

To become an Inspire Champion:

Step 1: Take one of the following actions:

  • Demand air quality monitoring.

  • Demand source emission control.

  • Communicate risk to patients (For Clinicians).

  • Communicate risk to other health professionals.

 Step 2: Tell us about it here

In 2019, Inspire will host a symposium where Inspire Champions can share experiences on how they have engaged their communities, governments, patients, and professional societies to advocate for clean air.

Demand Air Quality Monitoring

Governments need to collect and use data on pollution and emission sources to set priorities for controlling air pollution and to track progress.

Find out if your city or nation has publicly available air quality monitoring using these resources.

Engage local media to draw attention to weak air quality monitoring or hazardous air quality levels. Use these key messages:

  1. Air pollution causes serious illness and death. Use these resources to find information on the health burden near you.

  2. People who are very young, very old, and chronically ill suffer the most harm from air pollution.

  3. People have a right to know what they are breathing.

  4. Air quality monitoring is needed for effective clean air policies, policy enforcement, health protection and to address climate change.

Call on government officials in the health and environmental ministries or departments in your city, sub-national district, or country to invest in air quality monitoring.

Work together with your colleagues to draft letters and draw attention to the need for air quality monitoring.

Demand Source Emission Control

Aggressive clean air action is needed to reduce pollution-related illness and death as well as to reduce emissions that contribute to climate change. The most effective way to do this is to control pollution at its source.

Find out if your city or nation’s air quality meets the World Health Organization’s health-based guidelines using these resources.

 Learn about source emission control strategies that are proven to reduce air pollution. Download this Air Pollution Control Strategies fact sheet.

Engage media to draw attention to the polluting sectors of your community and to the strategies to improve them. Use these key messages:

  1. Air pollution control is feasible now.

  2. Clean air action can improve health without undermining economic development.

  3. Clean air is a human right.

Call on government officials in health and environmental ministries or departments in your city, subnational district, or country to invest in air pollution control strategies.

Communicate risk to patients

While air pollution poses a serious health risk to everyone, people with chronic lung diseases are especially vulnerable to air pollution. It can make symptoms of asthma or chronic obstructive lung disease such as emphysema worse, causing shortness of breath and wheezing. Clinicians should communicate the following messages to their patients with chronic lung diseases:

  • Be aware of the air quality in your environment, especially if there may be sudden changes in air quality. This may happen seasonally or when there is a great deal of smoke in the air from forest fires or trash burning. Check the Air Quality Index World Map for daily air quality conditions.

  • Remain indoors as much as possible on poor air quality days to reduce your exposure to pollutants.

  • If walking or exercising outdoors, try to avoid areas with heavy vehicular traffic or near known pollution sources.

  • Consult your doctor for more specific advice about wearing respirator masks or using home air filters.

*Disclaimer: This risk communication guidance is informational only. They are neither intended nor designed as a substitute for the reasonable exercise of independent clinical judgment by practitioners, considering each patient’s needs on an individual basis. For more specific recommendations about reducing personal exposure to air pollution for people with lung disease, it’s important to consult a medical professional.

For Organizations

Professional health societies and organizations play a vital role in informing the health community about the harms of air pollution. Use this grand rounds slide deck to start a discussion about the harms of air pollution with members of your organization.

To access this file, do not enter a password; select to open as "Read Only.”

Contact us info@inspirecleanair.org for more information or additional support in highlighting air pollution at your professional meetings.