Friday, January 13, 2012

We All Have the Right to Breathe Cleaner Air

Martin Luther King, Jr. 1964 (source: Library of Congress)
image by Mike Licht used under Creative Commons license

The United States commemorates the January 15, 1929, birth date of civil rights pioneer Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a national holiday on the third Monday in January each year that recognizes his contributions to human rights causes around the world. In honor of Dr. King, this blog explores why Clean Air NY believes we all have the right to breathe cleaner air and outlines some steps being taken to make this a reality for all New Yorkers.

Poor air quality has been linked to a range of respiratory issues, including asthma. While other health issues are linked directly to behaviors we can control, such as exercising more to reduce cholesterol, we don’t have as much influence over the air we breathe. Short of moving to a new location, the best way to combat the health risks associated with breathing polluted air is to do your part to maintain good air quality in your region.

Fortunately, federal and local governments are putting pollution-reducing measures in place to help New Yorkers have clean air to breathe year-round. Last year, we covered some examples of both: Check out our history of the federal Clean Air Act and our case study of the pedestrian plazas in Midtown Manhattan.

While government initiatives will go a long way toward improving air quality in the New York metro area, we also must do our part. Using alternate forms of transportation is one of the best ways to reduce air pollution, so take mass transit or carpool to your destination whenever possible. For weekly updates with more tips about improving air quality, subscribe to our blog. You can use RSS, the “Join this site” button in the right column of the page, or just press CTRL + D (CMD + D on a Mac) to bookmark this site and make sure to visit us again soon!

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