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The Clean Air Act

The Clean Air Act, passed by Congress in 1970, promised healthy air to all major urban areas in the United States by 1975. Today, we are still faced with air so dirty that we have to keep our children from playing outside on smoggy summer afternoons. In many areas of California, our air has become a foul brew of pollution emitted from hundreds of different sources, including automobiles, power plants, factories, farms and leaf blowers, to name a few. These pollutants include ozone and particulate matter pollution, which have serious impacts on the health of everyone living (and dying) in our state. Our bodies cannot tolerate these dangerous pollutants entering our airways and bloodstreams. When the pollution load is too great, we get sick, our breath shortens, we begin to cough and wheeze, and our hearts and lungs are damaged. Sadly, the impact of pollution is most severe on our most vulnerable populations: children, the elderly, and those with existing respiratory diseases.