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Can't breathe? Push pols for clean air

November 8, 2012 12:10 am

Now that the election is over, we can catch our breath and focus on other issues such as the fight against a disease that makes breathing difficult for as many as 24 million Americans. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, is the third leading cause of death in America.

November is COPD Awareness Month, a time to learn how to avoid this disease if you don't have it, and manage it if you do. The fundamentals include stopping smoking, avoiding irritating fumes and dusts, and avoiding outdoor air pollution.

Some days, the air is just too polluted for a person with COPD to go outside, like the six orange-alert days that the Fredericksburg area saw last year. No one should have to inhale polluted air but a COPD patient, like myself, is literally confined to the indoors in order just to breathe.

During COPD Awareness Month it's a good time to ask our elected officials to uphold, update, and enforce the laws that protect us from dangerous pollution. Visit to send them a message. For further information about the fight against lung disease, visit The American Lung Association webpage at www.lung

If you have COPD, check out the Pulmonary Pals of Greater Fredericksburg, our local support group. We meet the second Tuesday of each month from noon to 2 p.m. at The Salem Church Library. You will hear great programs, learn from others who are managing with COPD and other lung diseases while enjoying wonderful fellowship. We meet Nov. 13!

Ann Braz


Ann Braz is facilitator, Pulmonary Pals of Greater Fredericksburg.

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