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May 3 – 7 is Air Quality Awareness Week, sponsored by the NOAA National Weather Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Forest Service, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This year’s theme is “Healthy Air – Important For Everyone!” to raise air quality awareness and encourage everyone to check the Air Quality Index (AQI) often.

The very air that is meant to give us life can also harm us if it's full of pollution. According to the EPA, air pollution is “any visible or invisible particle or gas found in the air that is not part of the natural composition of air.” Poor air quality – indoors and out – is one of the most common asthma triggers.

Some sources of air pollution can include:

  • Gases, such as ozone
  • Smoke from fires
  • Emissions from traffic and manufacturing plants
  • Pollen
  • Airborne dust

People with asthma need to be aware of how air quality can impact their lungs. Air quality tends to be worse in hot and humid weather and during wildfire season in some parts of the United States. Check your local air quality at AirNow often. Get to know the Air Quality Index (AQI) so you know when you need to take precautions to prevent asthma symptoms.

Also, learn about making your indoor air healthier. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has an interactive Healthy Home website that shows you how you can reduce asthma and allergy triggers and irritants in every area of your home.

During Air Quality Awareness Week, the AirNow website has information for each day of the week on sources of poor air quality. The topics include:

Watching your exposure to poor air quality is an important part of asthma management. Take a few moments each day this week to learn more about air quality and how it plays a part in your asthma care.

It is important to stay up to date on news about asthma and allergies. Join our community and follow our blog to so you can be updated on new, research, advocacy, events, and more. Our online support community also gives you an opportunity to connect with other people also managing asthma and allergies.


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Welcome, @Tawny! Someone else's smoke no matter how remote is our problem to deal with. You're in good company with the AAFA community.

Could you post this question as a new topic in either the Asthma Support or Allergy Support forums? Then we can have an extended discussion back and forth. We'll tag some of the people who contributed to Dealing with smoke allergies and asthma when neighbours smoke and find some practical ideas for you.

Again, welcome! We're glad you found us.


I’m hyper sensitive to second hand smoke. Is there anything that can be done or taken to reduce  symptoms? The second hand smoke comes in through the central air system in my house from the outside air (individuals smoking on their own property). I have a whole house air purifier.

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