BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — April 30, 2014 — GASP and the American Lung Association (ALA) in Alabama today announced a new campaign, Voices for Clean Air, to bring awareness to the health effects of breathing polluted air. The project will tell the real stories of how air pollution affects health and quality of life through videos, photos and essays.
Voices for Clean Air will launch Wednesday, May 7, with a multimedia website and social media ad campaign. The announcement comes on the heels of ALA’s annual State of the Air report, which shows that Birmingham still has some of the dirtiest air in the nation.
“Voices for Clean Air is an exciting effort to educate the public about the human cost of pollution by telling the stories of real people,” said Ashley Lyerly, senior director of public policy for the American Lung Association, Plains-Gulf Region. “The mission of ALA is to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. As our 2014 State of the Air report reaffirmed, Birmingham has some of the dirtiest air in the nation. ‘Voices’ will raise awareness about that fact and how we can address the problem.”
One of the first stories featured in the campaign is that of Jenny Wilson, who suffers from severe persistent asthma. In her video, Wilson talks about the struggle to live a healthy, active life in an area with dirty air.
“Clean air will not eradicate asthma,” Wilson writes in an essay. “It will, however, reduce the number of times each year people like me will have to take a large doses of prednisone to keep our lungs from failing. It will reduce the number of days I miss work because I can’t leave my house due to poor air quality. And it will undoubtedly reduce medical and prescription drug costs — an unfair tax on asthma sufferers.”
“Jenny’s story is a powerful example for those who live in and around Birmingham of the high price we pay for breathing polluted air,” said GASP Executive Director Stacie M. Propst, PhD. “GASP is dedicated to telling stories like Jenny’s. Every person living in Alabama has a right to clean, healthy air.”