Making Every Step Count for Cleaner Air and Healthier Lungs

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People from all walks of life – including cancer survivors, friends, family, first responders, firefighters and more – are gearing up for the premier stair-climb event in the region this weekend. The American Lung Association’s Fight for Air Climb – St. Louis is returning to Metropolitan Square on Saturday at 8 a.m., featuring one-of-a-kind views and the best set of stairs this side of the Mississippi. From beginners to competitive climbers, all are encouraged to scale the building’s 42 floors by racing up its 900+ steps or taking it at your own speed to support those with lung disease who are fighting for every breath.

The goal of the event is to raise awareness and funds to support the American Lung Association’s efforts through research, education and advocacy. Registration fees and fundraising dollars will go toward helping the nonprofit organization save lives by working to defeat lung cancer and improving the quality of the air we all breathe. Today, that fight is more important than ever, and 90 cents of every dollar raised will go directly to the cause. Participants can register online through Friday or in-person on the morning of the event to climb as a team, an individual, or join as a volunteer.

When climbers get to the top, they can experience what it feels like to suffer from lung disease and empathize with individuals who unfortunately have to suffer through it every day. According to the American Lung Association’s most recent “State of Lung Cancer” report, close to 238,000 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year, with the rate of new cases varying by state. Missouri ranks 43rd among all U.S. states for new lung cancer case rates at 68.4 (per 100,000 population), which is significantly higher than the national rate of 54.6. While there are a variety of risk factors associated with lung cancer, overwhelming evidence shows that long-term exposure to particle pollution in the outdoor air we breathe – like that coming from vehicle exhaust, coal-fired power plants and other industrial sources – is a leading cause. This reinforces the need for everyone to step up for clean air across the country and in our communities, and taking part in an event like this one is a great place to start!

For more information on the Fight for Air Climb – St. Louis and how to get involved today, click here. For more information about the health effects of exposure to polluted air and tips to reduce emissions to help protect lung health, visit the Clean Air Partnership’s website, like us on Facebook or follow @gatewaycleanair on Twitter.