I hate sounding like a whiner here, but goodness where is my clean outdoor air? Last week I battled a nasty cold for over one week and didn’t feel right until I traveled out-of-state. I truly am believing that my local air quality is affecting my lungs. The combination of car exhaust, sand on the roads, fire-place smoke, manufacturing debris are just being pushed down into our city thanks for an inversion layer!
I have a new-found appreciation for clean energy and the ill effects of pollution. Even though we live in the high desert, the winds usually do a nice job pushing out the pollution to the point of my own complacency. Shame on me. I volunteer with my local Northern Nevada American Lung Association and advocating for clean air and clean energy are part of the good work we do. I have to say I have never felt the ugly side of unclean air deep down in my lungs, other than being forced to walk through the smokers area outside of a building’s entrance (that’s a completely different conversation for another day). It’s awful!
Of course, I’ve been keeping my asthmatic kids indoors or they have been heading up the mountain to ski in cleaner air. There is nothing more inspiring than taking a deep breath in and coughing. I worry for the short-term effects of poor air quality on people in my town battling respiratory issues this weeks (including several of my friends) and the long-term effects of this pollution on my family’s health.
photo courtesy of visitcalifornia.com
Of course, in my sometimes “passionate” ways, I’ve warned my family that if this inversion layer doesn’t disappear soon I’ll be sending them post cards from California–the smog free parts that is! Thankfully, the last few days have been freezing cold but have brought beautiful, gorgeous blue skies! I think I am beginning to twitch anytime I hear the weather mention the word inversion.
To check your air quality in your town, you can visit and down the State of the Air App from the American Lung Association. State of the Air App is free and it will even text you an alert if the air quality changes for the worse. Even though opening up a window is simple enough, if you have asthma you truly don’t want to test the waters via an asthma attack. Your local health department should have clean air monitoring too-so you might want to consider checking out their website to what the local air quality is up to.