Air Pollution & Your Health

Our long-term vision is for all people to benefit from clean healthy air all the time, everywhere. To achieve this, we target the largest sources of the most harmful pollutants in our region to protect public health.

Threat of Air Pollution

We believe all people would benefit from clean healthy air all the time, everywhere. In our region, particle pollution, smog, and air toxics pose the greatest risk to our well-being. Outdoor air pollution can cause heart attacks, asthma, strokes, cancer, and premature death. An estimated 1,100 people die each year in Washington State due to outdoor air pollution.

Because we are concerned about our climate we also focus on the reduction of greenhouse gases, which are the leading cause of climate change. In our region, climate change will likely lead to warmer, drier summers which increase levels of smog pollution, posing health risks to those with lung and heart diseases.

If you have plans to be active outdoors and are sensitive to air pollution, check the air quality forecast on our website. 

Learn about how to construct a DIY air filter to help reduce particle levels in your home.

  1. Wood Smoke
  2. Diesel Exhaust

Wood Smoke & Your Health

Smoke from fireplaces, wood stoves, backyard and land-clearing burn piles and wildfires contains fine particle pollution, which is one of the most serious air quality problems in the Puget Sound region. Fine particles are tiny, microscopic pieces of pollution that can easily enter your bloodstream and cause breathing and heart problems. The health effects even from short-term exposure are serious, and include:

  • Asthma attacks
  • Heart attacks
  • Premature death
  • Strokes

Fine particle pollution is especially dangerous for children, the elderly and people with sensitive immune systems.