Climate Change and Air Quality

Climate change is an ongoing shift in the earth’s normal temperatures. New Orleans will have warmer temperatures during the year. Heat and air pollution can cause bad air quality.

Bad air quality is caused by things like car exhaust, planes, power plants or from burning gases. This type of bad air quality can cause a thick, hazy cloud called smog. As the seasons get warmer, plants will bloom earlier and for longer. When plants release their pollen it can also cause bad air quality and allergy problems.


Who is more at risk from air pollution?

Babies and children up to 6 years of age may suffer from weak lungs and breathing illnesses like asthma.

Pregnant women may give birth to babies early. The babies may also be under weight or have birth defects. These babies are more likely to die at a young age. Children may be at risk of brain, breathing, or eating problems in early childhood.

Older adults exposed to many years of air pollution may have worsening heart or lung conditions.

Those suffering from long-term lung and heart conditions may have worse health problems like asthma, COPD, or heart disease.

Outdoor workers may have worsening lung function, airway irritation, or a hard time breathing.

Air Quality Index (AQI)


The AQI is a daily report of how clean the air is where you live. Visit to learn more about air quality and your health and if you are at risk from air pollution.


The AIRNow mobile application provides you with real-time air quality information that you can use to protect your health when planning your day.


What are the health problems from bad air quality?

  • Wheezing, coughing, and trouble breathing

  • Red, itchy, and burning eyes, nose, and throat

  • Pain during deep breathing

If you experience these symptoms, talk to your doctor or nurse.

How to protect yourself from air pollution:

  • Close doors and windows to keep harmful air from coming into the house.

  • Spend less time outside when air pollution levels are high which is usually in the afternoon to early evening.

  • Do less physical activity when air pollution levels are high. Physical activity increases the amount of air you breathe.

  • Change air filters and run air conditioning in "recirculating mode". 


For more information visit:

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