Health Brief No. 31: Pollution & Air Quality in Genesee County (November 2013)

Polluted air is a national and global health concern because it causes negative medical conditions such as asthma and lung cancer. November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and we are working to inform the Genesee County residents of ways to improve their indoor air quality and become more aware of the possible dangers of polluted air in their homes. For instance, radon is an undetectable air pollutant that seeps into houses through the cracks of floors and walls. Because the gas has no odor, many families are breathing highly polluted air unknowingly. Additionally, smoking tobacco, especially in a radon-polluted household, creates an even greater risk of developing lung cancer.

Health Brief no. 31Did you know?

The Speak To Your Health! Community Survey is a resource that provides information about air quality and related smoking behaviors in Genesee County. The results of the 2011 survey found that:

  • About 40% of Genesee County residents smoke every day or relatively often.
  • Over half of smokers (65%) have stopped smoking for one day or longer because they were trying to quit smoking.
  • 72% of smokers have been advised by a doctor, nurse, or other health professional to quit smoking.
  • 27% of smokers suggested they have set a specific date to stop smoking.
  • 62% of Genesee County residents do not allow smoking anywhere inside of their home.

What can you do?

  • If you do smoke, don’t smoke around others and support smoke-free establishments.
  • Participate in smoking cessation programs. The American Lung Association offers Freedom From Smoking®, an online or group clinic program. Study current research about nicotine replacement products (gum, patches, and inhalers) and receive support from peers going through similar stages.
  • Protect your indoor air quality. Clean and dry any damp areas to prevent mold growth.
  • Inspect your home for Radon. The United States Environmental Protection Agency provides ways to “Test Your Home” and how to reduce radon levels in your home.
  • Purchase a carbon monoxide detector and an Air Purifier to warn of excess carbon monoxide levels and help remove indoor pollutants – these detectors can be purchased at any Home Depot in the electrical department section.

Where can you get more information?

American Lung Association, Fighting for Air: http://www.lung.org/
Genesee County Health Department, Tobacco Use Reduction: http://www.gchd.us/Services/PublicHealthServices/Substance.asp
EPA, United States Environmental Protection Agency:
http://www.epa.gov/airquality/peg_caa/reduce.htmlhttp://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/citguide.html#howdoes
Smoke-free, Multi-Agency Resource Team (SMART): http://www.gchd.us/Services/CommunityHealth/SMART/

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