Every 2.5 seconds the average human inhales about a liter of air. The air we breathe is mostly nitrogen and oxygen, yet it often contains a variety of pollutants. Air pollution can be especially dangerous to people who are ill or who have weaker immune or respiratory systems. Children, for example, are very susceptible to asthma triggered by air pollution. In addition to adverse effects on our health, poor air quality can interfere with the enjoyment of our outdoor and indoor environments. Hoosiers can help keep our air clean by supporting clean air programs and organizations, and by applying the following tips in their daily lives.

  • Drive less and drive smarter
  • Carpool.
  • Walk, ride a bike, or roller blade.
  • Take the bus.
  • Shop by phone, mail, or Internet.
  • Combine errands into one trip.
  • When driving a vehicle, accelerate gradually.
  • Watch your speed. Cars use more fuel the faster you go.
  • Keep your car tuned. Replace the air filter and check the catalytic converter.
  • Keep your tires properly inflated.
  • When refueling, don’t top off at the gas pump.
  • Buy the most-efficient, lowest-polluting vehicle that meets your needs.
  • Indoor air care do’s and don’ts
  • Clean regularly to remove dust and mold.
  • Use earth-friendly products like baking soda and vinegar instead of chemical cleaners.
  • Store solvents in airtight containers.
  • Perform regular maintenance on all gas appliances and heaters.
  • Test your home for mold, radon, and other airborne hazards.
  • Get houseplants. They provide oxygen and reduce CO2 levels.
  • If you use cleaning agents, paint, and glue that contain dangerous chemicals, do it only in well-ventilated rooms or outdoors. Follow label instructions carefully.
  • Don’t use aerosols. Instead, use pump sprays and roll-on products.
  • Don’t smoke. Cigarettes contain many toxins that are released into the air.
  • Don’t heat your home with an un-vented gas appliance, such as a cooking stove.
  • Residues from the gas can be toxic.
  • Caring for the outdoor air we all share
  • Minimize the amount of bad ozone you create by mowing your lawn in the evening or by using a non-motorized push mower or electric mower.
  • Plant trees. They produce oxygen, break down pollutants, prevent erosion, decrease airborne dust, and add beauty and value to property.
  • Select water-based products with low amounts of volatile organic compounds. Oil-based paint has up to five times more polluting solvents than water-based latex.
  • Urge your government representatives to support clean air programs and legislation. Call or write to officials, local papers, and government agencies.
  • Mulch or compost leaves.

For additional information, visit:

Air Quality: http://airnow.gov

American Lung Association: www.lungusa.org

Indiana Air Quality: www.in.gov/apps/idem/smog

Stop Burning Trash: www.stopburningtrash.org

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ( Air): http://www.epa.gov/oar