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Environment

Lung Association Combating Many Causes Of Lung Disease In California

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The American Lung Association of California is announcing its Clean Air Challenge to increase awareness of the number of causes of lung disease. The group also hopes to raise money for research.

Atul Malhotra, division chief of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine, said even researchers often don’t realize the role air quality plays in lung disease because for so long the emphasis has been on reducing smoking.

“They blame the victim,” said Malhorta, who is also president of American Thoracic Society. “They say this is cigarette smoking-induced. Let’s not bother doing research on emphysema and chronic bronchitis when in fact that’s not fair. When you look at the data now, there is more COPD that is non-smoking related worldwide then there is from cigarette smoke.”

The association emphasizes that lung cancer is the number one killer of men and women in the United States, which is often tied to smoking.

San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts announced that air quality in the city is the cleanest since California has been measuring air quality.

As part of the initiative, Sullivan Solar Power announced it will give $100 to research for every solar power system the group installs in San Diego County between now and the end of December, up to $75,000.

Corrected:
Sullivan Solar Power is a KPBS underwriter.