Public Health, Air Pollution, and Local Action

Air pollution has a drastic impact on the public health of Riverside’s residents. According to California’s Air Resource Board, millions of Californians live with the worst air quality in the country and routinely suffer with pollution-related symptoms and illnesses. In other words, air pollution is threatening the health of California’s citizens. Luckily, local students and local universities are helping to mitigate this crisis. 

One such collaboration that is aiming to fight the growing problem of air pollution in Riverside is UCR’s Community Air Quality Project, which is a collaboration between UCR’s School of Medicine for Health Communities and J.W North High School to reduce the health threat of air pollution. This organization also works with community members, stakeholders, and other local organizations to achieve this common goal. 

J.W North High School is contributing to this project by conducting air quality research, along with many other community members. UCR is conducting other research relating to the relationship between cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and air pollution. They have also hosted short-film competitions – an outlet for young people to highlight the impact of air pollution on their communities. Another notable initiative is the Air Quality Summit. You can view the the highlights of their most recent summit on their website.

Ultimately, this collaboration is significant because it shows how high schoolers can get involved with initiatives to fight the climate crisis and demonstrates how local institutions and individual’s community involvement are critical to combatting the public health threat associated with air pollution. 

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