[PRESS RELEASE] Public Health Groups Team Up To Fight Air Pollution & Protect Public Health

Feb 29, 2016

On Monday, February 29, Moms Clean Air Force NC, Mothers & Others for Clean Air, Medical Advocates for Healthy Air, and Clean Air Carolina, announced a new, collaborative effort, the Healthy Air Alliance of North Carolina (HAANC). The Alliance will provide North Carolina’s citizens, media, medical professionals and policy makers with access to the latest research and analysis on how proposed public policies could impact public health.

This morning, HAANC launched the first presentation in its educational training series which targets the public, medical professionals and decision makers. The first training, “Impacts of Air Pollution on Public Health“, reviews how air pollution impacts public health, particularly children.

HAANC’s goal is to build a statewide network to elevate the voices of families dealing with the
daily health impacts of air pollution and the public health professionals who work with them in
order to advocate for better air quality and healthier communities. The Alliance is calling for
strong public policies that reduce air pollution to protect public health, including protecting
North Carolina’s Clean Smokestacks Act and the Clean Air Act, and promoting clean renewable
energy development.

“According to the American Lung Association’s 2015 State of the Air Report , three of the largest
metropolitan areas in North Carolina received failing grades for ozone pollution,” said Alison
Lawrence Jones, North Carolina project manager for Mothers & Others for Clean Air, a program
of the American Lung Association of the Southeast.

“Strong clean air policy is essential to public health. Over the last few years, North Carolinians
have seen rollbacks of many important air quality protections as well as threats to our state’s
transition to clean renewable energy. This must stop,” said Veronica Butcher Shingleton of
Moms Clean Air Force.

Air pollution has some surprising effects on public health. “In addition to severe impacts on the respiratory system, research is finding strong associations between exposure to particulate matter pollution and heart disease, central nervous system and cognitive effects, birth defects and poor birth outcomes, a variety of cancers, and diabetes and obesity,” said Laura Wenzel, manager of Medical Advocates for Healthy Air.

New research is helping us understand how the combination of polluting chemicals renders them
even more toxic. “It’s imperative that we not only retain the protections we currently have, but
that we create even stronger protective policies,” said Terry Lansdell, program director of Clean
Air Carolina.

Alliance Resources:

Healthy Air Alliance North Carolina partners:

Moms Clean Air Force www.momscleanairforce.org
Mothers & Others for Clean Air www.mocleanair.org
Medical Advocates for Healthy Air www.medicaladvocatesforhealthyair.org
Clean Air Carolina www.cleanaircarolina.org