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Webinar Recording: A Good Direction for Poor Air Quality

It has been 50 years since the milestone Clean Air Act, but over 150 million Americans still live in areas where the air can be dangerous to breathe. PHI's Catalina Garzón-Galvis, of PHI's Tracking California, was featured as a presenter in SPUR's webinar, A Good Direction for Poor Air Quality, to discuss how COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders have affected air quality and exacerbated health disparities, leaving low-income communities more vulnerable to respiratory illnesses.

  • Catalina Garzón-Galvis, Tracking California | Henry Hilken, Bay Area Air Quality Management District | Jamie Fine, Environmental Defense Fund | Crystal Upperman, Aclima | Nicholas Josefowitz, SPUR
image of cars on road with polluted air in the city

It has been 50 years since the milestone Clean Air Act, but over 150 million Americans still live in areas where the air can be dangerous to breathe. Catalina Garzón-Galvis, of PHI’s Tracking California, was featured as a presenter in SPUR’s webinar, A Good Direction for Poor Air Quality, to discuss how COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders have affected air quality and exacerbated health disparities, leaving low-income communities more vulnerable to respiratory illnesses.

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The presentation addresses the questions:

How has air quality improved across California since March, and are we at risk of seeing this trend reverse when our slowly reopening economy intersects a public hesitant to use public transit?

After what we’ve recently experienced, are we prepared to relinquish the widespread use of cars in favor of healthier air?

"Long term exposure to air pollutants, we know, compounds vulnerability to respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. In these communities, particulate matter exposure is associated with reduced lung function in children and respiratory conditions like asthma... We are seeing, in the available data, that there are racial disparities in the distribution of COVID-19 cases and deaths."
—Catalina Garzón-Galvis, PHI's Tracking California


PHI’s Tracking California mobilizes data to identify and understand pollution and disease, assisting Californians to take action and create healthier communities. We help community groups, government agencies, researchers, and communities shine a spotlight on environmental hazards and other factors that impact community health.

Originally published by SPUR


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