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Asthma is one of the most common chronic childhood diseases and the number one reason for excused medical absences from school. In 2007, the Centers for Disease Control estimated that the annual cost of asthma in the U.S. was more than $53 billion.

This is a guest blog by Katie Huffling. She is a Certified Nurse-Midwife and is coordinating the efforts of the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments (ANHE). In her work with ANHE, Ms. Huffling works with nurses nationwide on a variety of environmental health issues including air pollution and asthma.

A hot air balloon floats before the smoggy backdrop of California's Central Valley outside of Sacramento.

It’s that time of year again when the American Lung Association (ALA) releases its State of the Air report, which tells you whether your air is healthy … or harmful. Just go to the website, enter your zip code and hold your breath!

The Clean Air Act has been wildly successful in cleaning up air pollution. In fact, this year’s report shows a steady decline in dirty air in much of the United States. But there’s still more to do.

The Los Angeles skyline

The American Lung Association released its annual “State of the Air Report” today, chronicling the worst places in the country to breathe. Not surprisingly, Los Angeles again tops the list for most smog- and soot-choked air.  This is a sad reality for the people who call the region home, those who are raising their families here, and those who work to fight the pollution that often makes breathing a daunting task.

When cleaning product manufacturers assure you that product safety is their highest priority – do you ever wonder if their definition of “safe” might differ from yours?

This is a guest post by Sarada Tangirala, National Campaigns Manager at Women's Voices for the Earth.

Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE) has released a new report, entitled “Deep Clean: What the cleaning industry should be doing to protect your health,” which exposes how cleaning product companies keep secret how they screen out dangerous chemicals from the products we use in our homes.

Sunset in the Arctic

When Secretary of State John Kerry took the Arctic Council chair on Thursday from Canada, the United States began an exciting opportunity to lead the world in advancing environmental safeguards across the Arctic, while slowing warming and ice melt that threaten the region and our planet.

The Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum of Arctic governments and indigenous people, has been critical in promoting cooperation in the region. But the council needs to be faster and bolder to meet the growing threats to the region, especially in addressing climate change.

On Thursday, the California Air Resources Board—the state agency charged with bringing clean air to Californians—heard a proposed plan from its staff on how to tackle the pernicious problem of freight pollution in California. The ships, trucks, trains and aircraft that move freight throughout California and into the rest of the country undoubtedly provide economic benefits to Californians.

melting glacier

When the United States assumes the chair of the Arctic Council this Friday, April 24th, it will have an extraordinary opportunity to lead on an issue that is high on President Obama’s climate agenda—reducing emissions of the climate pollutants black carbon and methane to slow the rapid warming and ice melt in the Arctic.  When foreign ministers of the council gather in Iqaluit this week, they will for the first time collectively tackle climate change in the region by adopting the landmark Framework for Action on Enhanced Black Carbon and Methane Emissions Reductions.

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About the Earthjustice Blog

unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders. Learn more about Earthjustice.