How is your city’s air impacting you?

The stories

Recent BreatheLife stories

Oslo joins BreatheLife campaign

On November 13, Oslo joined the global BreatheLife network, as the newest city to declare support in the campaign for cleaner air. The city of about 670,000 aspires to an ambitious set of air quality standards, targeting stricter limits than those established by the country of Norway — which are already stricter in some areas […]

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Act Now to #BeatPollution

In advance of UNEA3, UN Environment Assembly asks that governments, businesses and NGOS — and even individuals — register their commitments and pledges towards a pollution-free planet.

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Burn Right Campaign

As the seasons change and the weather turns cold in the northern hemisphere, millions of homes in Europe, Asia and North America turn to fireplaces and wood stoves for warmth. But these bright cozy fires often have a dark side, hurting both the environment and our health. The Burn Right campaign exposes this harmful impact […]

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BreatheLife workshop meets in Medellín

How can cities and countries expand the circle of awareness about air pollution’s deadly health impacts? About fifty experts from 10 major cities and 18 countries across Latin America met 18-20 October in Medellín, Colombia at the first BreatheLife workshop. Through a series of informative panels and breakout sessions, participants considered tools and tactics ranging from […]

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London’s vision for clean energy, clean air

London joined the BreatheLife network on October 4 as the world’s first mega-city to commit to reaching WHO’s air quality guidelines. These “gold standard” recommendations for air quality set serious limits on health-harmful pollutants.

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London joins BreatheLife campaign

Following sobering findings on air quality, London will work with cities around the world to reduce emissions of harmful pollutants and improve air quality.

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Bus manufacturers to bring clean power buses to 20 cities

On September 27, four major bus manufacturers announced their commitment to soot-free engine technology. Starting in 2018, BYD, Cummins, Scania and Volvo Buses will offer these low-emission buses for sale in 20 megacities around the world.

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BreatheLife at 29th Pan-American Conference of Ministers of Health in Washington, DC

The 29th Pan American Sanitary Conference met September 25-29 in Washington, DC, hosted by the Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization. This annual conference  brings together ministers of health and other high-level delegates from across the Americas. Participants share information and ideas about preventing disease and promoting health. The conference also featured […]

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Washington, DC joins BreatheLife Network

The District’s core strategy for cleaner air is outlined in the Clean Energy DC plan, an ambitious vision for reducing greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent by 2032 and 80 percent by 2080. The bold plan positions the District as a global leader in fighting climate change; it also offers a roadmap to cleaner air and healthier citizens.

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Mongolia joins the BreatheLife network

Mongolia's capital city Ulaanbaatar is one of the most polluted in the world. But the nation is charting a new path towards a green economy and sustainable urban development.

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New WHO report links air pollution to non-communicable diseases

A new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) links air pollution to higher rates of non-communicable diseases like heart disease, cancer and stroke — leading causes of death around the world.

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Aburrá Valley, Colombia joins the global BreatheLife campaign

Medellín and the surrounding Aburrá Valley Metropolitan Area join the BreatheLife Global campaign with an ambitious plan for sustainable solutions for cleaner air. Everyone in the region, from governments to citizens, has a vital contribution to make. And with changes to simple habits, we can all be part of the solution — and not the pollution.

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Greater Manchester celebrates National Clean Air Day

National Clean Air Day is giving people all over the UK an opportunity to talk about the impacts of air pollution and the importance of clean air. People are taking pledges to make their own contributions to cleaner air… and urging their friends and neighbors to do the same.   To mark the occasion, here’s […]

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Talca, Chile joins global BreatheLife campaign

Talca’s air quality strategy is focused on reducing smoke from firewood. The strategy includes measures such as improved weatherization and thermal insulation of homes to lower heating demands, and overhauling wood stoves and replacing outdated heaters.

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Interview with Marcelo Mena, Chile’s Minister of the Environment

Marcelo Mena, Minister of the Environment in Chile, shares his vision for reducing air pollution.

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Jalisco State, Mexico Joins the BreatheLife Campaign

The Mexican state of Jalisco joins the BreatheLife campaign with a comprehensive 11-point plan for improving air quality and fighting climate change in its eight major cities and 33+ towns and communities, with around 7.8 million residents total. Guadalajara, Mexico's second largest city and Jalisco's capital, is at the forefront of the action.

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Greater Manchester City Region Launches BreatheLife Campaign

Greater Manchester City Region is home to 2.7 million people, and expected to reach a population of 3 million by 2040. Greater Manchester, which encompasses ten boroughs, is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the UK. The city region's Air Quality Action Plan encompasses 39 concrete measures across seven focus areas.

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Diesel bus filter incentives in Santiago

The city began a program to install diesel particulate filters (DPF) on buses and offering incentives for bus owners to retrofit their vehicles with filters.

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The Issue

Air pollution causes 1 in 9 deaths. It is the biggest environmental health crisis we face.

We may not always see it, but air pollution is the cause of some of our most common illnesses.

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The Health & Disease Burden

of lung cancer deaths


of stroke deaths


of heart disease deaths


of COPD (pulmonary disease) deaths

Outdoor air pollution

Outdoor pollution causes an estimated 3 million premature deaths each year.

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Indoor air pollution

Indoor pollution causes an estimated 4.3 million premature deaths each year.

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The Solutions

Fortunately, we have solutions that are proven to work.

See how you can help combat air pollution.

Take Action

Let your city know that clean air matters to you.

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Cities across the world are taking steps to reduce air pollution. Call on your city leaders to join the BreatheLife network.

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Are you a city leader looking to reduce air pollution? Become part of the BreatheLife cities network and share stories of success. Act Now
Are you a health professional looking to lead the way? Get resources to raise awareness and help combat air pollution. Act Now