Write a 750-1,000-word policy brief that summarizes the issue, explains the effect on the population, and proposes a solution to the issue.

In this APA formatted paper please include following information:

Describe the policy health issue.
What population is affected.
At what level does it occur (local, state, or national).
Create a problem statement (why is this issue a problem that needs policy advocacy).
Provide 2-3 suggestions for addressing the health issue by creating a public health policy or influence current policy (for example describe what steps are required to initiate a new policy or initiate policy change; who are your stakeholders, would you need funding. etc.)
Discuss the impact on the health care delivery system.
Include three peer-reviewed sources and two other sources to support the policy brief.


Air Quality


Besides causing climate change, the emission of greenhouse gases resulting from fossil fuels also pollutes the breathable air causing serious public health issues. According to the National Climate Assessment, climate change affects air quality through outdoor and air pollution and allergens. Millions of Americans reside in areas characterized by increased air pollution levels that can result in both chronic and acute health problems. The people most affected by poor air quality are always from low-income families and people of color residing in close proximity to freeways and sources of industrial air pollution. Breathing quality air is a basic right of every American citizen, and more funding, robust funding, and enforcement of the Clean Air Act’s air quality programs are necessary to ensure continuous improvement of the country’s air quality.

Problem Statement

The Clean Air Act has been instrumental in helping the United States reduce air pollutants that damage crops and threaten public health. Despite the significant strides that have been made, inadequate air quality and localized exposures to harmful air pollutants still remain a huge problem in most cities and towns, thus presenting significant health risks to millions of citizens (Environmental Protection Agency, 2020). Low-income and minority populations, as well as children and older adults, often suffer from air pollution. Much still needs to be done in the implementation of the Clean Air Act to ensure that every American citizen enjoys his or her right to clean air.

The emission of such greenhouse gases as Sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide, and ozone have significantly decreased since 1980 (Environmental Protection Agency, 2020). This is a great achievement due to the fact that factors that tend to increase pollution like vehicle mile driven, national energy consumption, and population growth have steadily increased at the same time. However, more than 120 million Americans are still living in counties with pollution levels exceeding the national ambient air quality standards. Such individuals and people with compromised immune systems, adults, pregnant women, and children are at increased risk for such health conditions as shortness of breath, throat irritation, chronic cough, asthma, and heart and lung diseases (Cascio & Long, 2018).

Many American Citizens are also exposed to intolerable levels of toxic air pollutants, which are known to cause cancer and health conditions like congenital disabilities, reproductive problems, as well as neurological effects (CDC, 2020). While every American is at risk of developing these health conditions caused by poor air quality, older adults, pregnant women, and children are especially vulnerable. Unlike adults, children spend most of their time outdoors breathing polluted air, which can interfere with the development of their metabolic, reproductive, and nervous systems as they grow. Air pollution may also result in cardiopulmonary effects that may lead to poor health outcomes during pregnancy for the mother and child. On the other hand, the existence of such conditions as diabetes, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in older adults reduces their body’s ability to compensate for exposure to air pollution (McDermott-Levy et al., 2019). This results in increased medication use and frequent visit to the doctor’s office.

Mitigation Strategies

Many American citizens have recently seen in the news broadcasts the dreadful air pollution episodes frequently taking place in Beijing, where strong evidence has revealed an association between respiratory disease morbidity, emergency room admissions, and fine particulate pollution, especially among older adults and women (Zhang et al., 2019). Without a strong and independent US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the protections of the Clean Air Act, it will take no time before we start seeing our emergency rooms filled with people most sensitive to air pollution, especially older adults, pregnant women, and children. EPA is needed to be strong and independent to ensure that American citizens are protected from exposure to dangerous chemicals in the environment. To address the issue of air quality;

  1. The White House and Congress should reevaluate the costs and benefits of clean air and increase the funding for the programs stipulated in the Clean Air Act aimed at enhancing air quality for every American citizen. The White House and Congress should significantly fund research on toxic air pollutant exposures as well as indoor air quality research and training to ensure the development of appropriate measures aimed at mitigating its impacts.
  2. The White House, Congress, and members of the public health community should resist all efforts aimed at weakening the health protestations provided in the Clean Air Act. In this regard, the national ambient air quality standards should continue to focus on the protection of public health, and the setting of such standards should not be influenced by cost issues.
  3. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should use all available regulatory mechanisms provided in the Clean Air Act and increase its assessment and control of dangerous air pollutants, including new additional chemicals that have not been investigated. The agency should also collect data and evaluate the disproportionate toxic air pollutant exposures among people of color as well as people from low-income families living near industrial facilities and see to it that the exposures have been reduced to safe levels.

Impact on the Health Care Delivery System

Adequate funding of the Clean Air Act programs and cooperation between public and government agencies in defending policies aimed at enhancing air quality will result in less demand for health care as hospital admissions due to poor air quality issues would be no more. Thus, the strategy will be instrumental in easing the healthcare delivery system due to the reduced number of hospital admissions.


Cascio, W. E., & Long, T. C. (2018). Ambient air quality and cardiovascular health: translation of environmental research for public health and clinical care. North Carolina medical journal79(5), 306-312.

CDC, (2020). Public health issues; I’m air aware.

Environmental Protection Agency (2020). National air quality: Status and trends of key air pollutants.

McDermott-Levy, R., Kolanowski, A. M., Fick, D. M., & Mann, M. E. (2019). Addressing the health risks of climate change in older adults. Journal of gerontological nursing45(11), 21-29.

Zhang, L., Morisaki, H., Wei, Y., Li, Z., Yang, L., Zhou, Q., … & Toriba, A. (2019). Characteristics of air pollutants inside and outside a primary school classroom in Beijing and respiratory health impact on children. Environmental Pollution255, 113147.

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