Air Quality Issues for an Aging Population
The number of older adults in the U.S. population is increasing as the baby-boomer generation reaches retirement age. Older adults are more sensitive to air pollution, and many have existing medical conditions that are worsened by air pollution exposure. Additionally, a majority lives in metropolitan areas where air contaminant concentrations are higher. For these reasons, there is concern over future adverse health effects as the percentage of older adults grows substantially larger. A related problem for older adults is excessive heat, made worse by summertime air pollution episodes. Indoor air contaminants can also be a problem because older adults spend more time indoors than they did at a younger age. Steps can be taken now to plan for the aging of America’s population, including programs aimed at education, notification, and research involving air pollution exposure and excess heat events.
KeywordsChronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Wood Stove American Lung Association Fine Particulate Concentration Heat Episode
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