APRIL 2021
Marc My Words: Sponsoring Lung Health Legislation in Sacramento
A Letter from the Breathe Southern California President & CEO
April is a busy and exciting month for us at Breathe SoCal!
This month, with the help of so many people contacting their state legislators, the respiratory health legislation we are sponsoring passed out of two legislative committees by unanimous margins. 
The bill, Assembly Bill 619, introduced by Assemblywoman Lisa Calderon (D-Whittier), requires the California Department of Public Health to conduct an awareness campaign among physicians and other health providers regarding COPD in an effort to promote early diagnosis and treatment. COPD patients, on average, are not diagnosed until 15 years after the first onset of symptoms!   
This bill is also responding to our worsening climate crisis and the impact that dramatic climate events, including more severe wildfires, have on our lung health. AB 619 requires California’s counties to each develop a plan that addresses wildfire smoke, such as potential dangers to our lung health and resources that can help.
While the bill unanimously passed the Assembly Health Committee and the Assembly Emergency Management Committee the fight continues. Next, AB 619 will face a hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, and if successful, will then be voted on by the entire California State Assembly. We need your help to make sure that your legislator will support this critical respiratory health bill.
Make a difference by taking a minute to contact your representatives to let them know about the importance of AB 619. For more information, visit the Breathe SoCal website’s advocacy page. And follow uon social media @BreatheSoCal, and me @mcarrel, for more AB 619 updates.
In Health,
Marc Carrel 
President & CEO
Wildfire Smoke Poses A Threat to Our Lungs
Climate change has brought about higher spring and summer temperatures and earlier spring snow-melt. These changes cause soils to be drier for longer, increasing the likelihood of drought and a longer wildfire season.
Wildfires threaten lives directly and spread air pollution for thousands of miles. One of the many pollutants found in wildfire smoke is particle pollution, a mix of very tiny solid and liquid particles suspended in the air. Many of the particles in wildfire smoke are no larger than one-third the diameter of a hair. They lodge deep within the lungs and can trigger asthma attacks, heart attacks, strokes, and fatalities.  A recent study found that the particles from wildfire smoke are up to ten times as dangerous as harmful particles from other sources, such as car exhaust.
People who are most at risk include:
1. Infants, children, and teens

2. People with lung disease such as asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)

3. People with cardiovascular disease

4. People of color

5. Current or former smokers

6. Low-income communities
The risks to your lungs depend on your length of exposure
Short-term exposure:

1. Increased mortality rates in infants

2. Hospital admission for cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and ischemic heart disease

3. Hospital admissions and emergency department visits for COPD

4. Increased hospitalization for asthma among children

5. Increased severity of asthma attacks in children
Long-term exposure:

1. Development of asthma in children

2. Worsening of COPD in adults

3. Slowed function growth in children and teenagers

4. Increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, and death from cardiovascular disease

5. Cancer of the lungs, heart, bones, etc.

6. Possible reproductive and developmental harm
Wildfire Preparedness in Southern California
By upgrading our electric infrastructure and investing in new technologies, we can prevent wildfires before they happen, help better predict when a wildfire may occur, and respond quickly if one starts. 
This Month...
Ride and Drive™ Facebook Live Event
In partnership with Electrify America and Plug in America
Did you know you could save up to $9,500 when purchasing a Zero Emission Vehicle? Join us on April 28th at 10 AM for this free educational webinar to explore cost-effective rebates and resources for buying an electric car!
Young Professionals for Sustainability Presents
UCLA's Chief Sustainability Officer Nurit Katz
On April 28th at 6 PM, hear from UCLA’s first Chief Sustainability Officer about sustainability management in a large organization, the breath of opportunities in the field of sustainability, and UCLA Extension’s sustainability certificate program for professionals.
A Clean Energy Program That Can Cut Your Energy Bill Up To $250.
You can help to save the environment by using clean energy! Qualified customers can save 20% on their energy bill with this new Power Share program. The discount can also be applied to customers’ already discounted CARE or FERA programs.
Addressing Lung Health Disparities in Our Communities
In a recent research study reviewing the racial and economic profiles of communities surrounding facilities emitting harmful air pollution, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that African Americans were exposed to significantly more harmful particulate matter. These communities also had higher rates of lung disease, heart disease, and premature death.
At Breathe SoCal, our goal is to provide educational health resources in these and other disadvantaged communities and create opportunities for their residents to live healthier and more sustainable lives.
Join us in continuing to provide education and resources for Southern Californians with asthma, COPD and other lung diseases who need it most. YOU can make an impact by making a simple gift online. Your support can make a huge difference and help thousands of people breathe easier.