Outdoor Air Quality in Tennessee

Having clean air to breathe is necessary for good health.  Poor air quality reduces quality of life.  Some air pollutants are irritants.  Some smell bad.  Some air pollutants can cause respiratory disease or even cancer.  Air quality is important both indoors and outdoors.  Ground level ozone, particulate matter and allergens are common outdoor air pollutants.  Secondhand smoke, mold and radon are common indoor air pollutants.  Poor air quality may limit people’s ability or opportunity to be physically active.  People with preexisting medical conditions such as asthma, emphysema or COPD are at greater risk from poor air quality.  Good air quality is an important livability indicator for a healthy community.

Having clean air is important to health.

Air in its purest state is best suited for the essential task sustaining life.  Air pollution is a major environmental risk to health.  Air pollution can trigger heart attacks or strokes.  In fact, one in three Americans has heart disease which can be worsened by air pollution.  Breathing clean air can lessen the possibility of disease from stroke, heart disease, lung cancer as well as chronic and acute respiratory illnesses such as asthma.  Lower levels of air pollution are better for heart and respiratory health both long- and short-term.  Learn about the many ways air pollution can harm your health and the atmosphere.  Find out what you can do to help protect the air we breathe.

Common outdoor air pollutants include byproducts from automobile emissions like particulate matter (PM), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and ozone (O3).  Other outdoor air pollutants are allergens like pollen and molds.