Breathe SoCal October Newsletter:
October is National Healthy Lung Month!
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Marc My Words: Give Your Lungs Some TLC This Month
A Letter from the President and CEO
Greetings!

You may not have heard, but October is National Healthy Lung Month, an annual time set aside to educate the public about the importance of protecting our lungs. On October 7th we also marked Clean Air Day in California, and National Respiratory Care Week, October 25th-30th, highlighting the information we need to maintain healthy lungs and enjoy a good quality of life.
 
The timing of these commemorations is no coincidence. October is known as a difficult time when it comes to lung heath. It marks the middle of a season filled with heightened levels of pollen and mold, substances that can agitate our lungs and increase our chances of suffering from asthma attacks and COPD related flare-ups. 
 
In addition to the usual worries that this month brings for people suffering from lung disease, this year, people have also been significantly impacted by raging wildfires across the West Coast and the dangerous air pollution they’ve created. With the wildfires increasing in number and size, most of us have been affected by the dangerous levels of air pollution, and watched as the Air Quality Index (AQI) reached the Unhealthy or Very Unhealthy range. 
 
Besides the wildfires, our air is also filled with emissions from heavy-duty diesel-powered vehicles (like trucks, buses, locomotives, ships, and construction and loading equipment) which are some of the major sources of dangerous emissions, making our air quality the worst in the nation. So we have a lot of work to do to make sure our lungs stay healthy.
 
To acknowledge National Healthy Lung Month we’ve put together a collection of virtual activities. For Clean Air Day, we partnered with the Southern California Association of Governments to host our #Take2Wheels2Work live webinar presentation on the health and environmental benefits of biking to work. Coming up, we will be hosting seven presentations for our program The Vaping Trend: Clearing the Air. We will also be hosting a Wildfire and Safety Preparedness Webinar on October 13th, an Estate Planning 101 webinar on October 14th, a Breathe Clean, Save Green webinar with our partner LADWP on October 20th, and a virtual Lung Power™ event on October 25th.  
 
You can view our full event calendar by visiting our website, BreatheSoCal.org and don't forget to follow us on social media at @BreatheSoCal and me at @mcarrel. I hope you look after your lungs and enjoy  a wonderful Healthy Lung Month!
 
In Health, 
Marc Carrel 
President & CEO 
Tips To Protect Your Lungs from Wildfire Smoke  
Below are some tips on how you can protect your lungs from wildfire smoke from our Health educator Lynette Marquez.

Read Lynnette’s full article on the impacts of wildfires for more detailed tips and to learn about the health impacts of wildfire smoke and how to prepare & protect yourself if you have a preexisting lung condition.
1) Listen to evacuation orders
  • If you live in the path of a wildfire, make sure to keep up with the most current evacuation orders
  • Follow instructions of local officials
  • If you are having trouble breathing consider evacuating preemptively and call a doctor for advice if symptoms worsen

2) Turn on air conditioning (with recirculation options) and/or ventilation systems
  • Check air conditioning filters and replace them as needed
  • Portable HEPA filters work well for cleaning the air for individual rooms
  • MERV13 filters can be added to central ventilation systems
  • Make sure your specific air cleaner device does not generate ozone

3) Staying indoors as much as possible and keep indoor air clean (do not add to indoor pollution when smoke levels are high)
  • Keep windows/doors closed
  • Clean dusty surfaces indoors with a damp cloth
  • Do not use anything that burns (candles, fireplaces, cigarettes)
  • Do not vacuum (stirs up particles in the home)
  • Reduce use of gas stoves as much as possible (avoid frying or broiling foods to avoid adding particles to the indoor air)

4) Do not rely on dust masks/bandanas for protection
  • Paper and dust masks will not fully protect your lungs from smoke
  • An N95 mask, when properly fitted, can offer some protection
Wildfire Safety Preparedness Webinar
If you enjoyed the tips above, you should join us today, October 13th at 5pm for a free virtual webinar where you will have the chance to win a free emergency kit from the Red Cross! You will also learn more about:

  • Wildfire safety and emergency preparedness

  • How to protect yourself from wildfire air pollution

  • Environmental health preservation

  • Keeping communities safe from wildfire threats
FREE Estate Planning Seminar- Your Trust & Your Legacy
Join us for this one-hour seminar on October 14th at 1:00 PM, where we will review the building blocks of effective estate planning and how to determine/enact your family's philanthropic philosophy. The goal of this session will be to provide useful tools for families to understand the estate and financial impact of planned giving and how to intentionally build a meaningful legacy.
Sona A. Tatiyants, LL.M

Attorney Sona A. Tatiyants, LL.M Founder of Lynk Law will lead attendees in an interactive virtual presentation on estate planning basics, last will & testament, power of attorney & healthcare directives specifics; the benefits of each and the pitfalls to avoid.

The seminar will also highlight and review the role of the agent, including ways to protect yourself and your assets.
Breathe SoCal Advocacy Efforts
COPD Awareness
During the 2019-20 legislative session, we were proud to introduce and support legislation that sought to improve lung health and air quality for Californian residents. We introduced AB 2293, which would have created an awareness campaign for COPD to increase early diagnosis of this disease, which is the fourth leading cause of death nationally. Despite the bill not receiving a single vote in opposition, AB 2293 was stalled in committee due to the Legislature’s desire to limit the number of bills being considered this year. We’ll try again next year to help pass this bill which could help millions of people across the state with COPD. You can lend a hand by urging your legislators to support this legislation that will benefit the millions of Californians who are living with COPD today including many who have not yet been diagnosed.
 
Flavored Tobacco
But we were successful in our efforts to get a law signed into law, Senate Bill 793, which protects our kids by ending the sale of flavored tobacco products in stores, including vapes and menthol cigarettes. For too long, Big Tobacco has poisoned Californians, especially the most vulnerable among us. We thank the legislature and Governor Newsom for their leadership in standing up to the tobacco industry and protecting our health.
 
Other Legislation
Other legislation we supported that the Governor has signed into law this legislative session includes getting cleaner trucks onto our roads (SB 44) and protecting the health of residents by prohibiting smoking in state parks and state beaches (SB 8).