Welcome Symposium Participants

Dear Participants,

On behalf of the World Asthma Foundation, I would like to extend a warm welcome to the TimeToCleantheAir.com Symposium. We are proud to underwrite this important event that focuses on one of the most critical challenges of our time: clean air.

At the World Asthma Foundation, our vision is to improve the quality of life for all asthmatics. We advocate for improved understanding of the causes of asthma, diagnostic tools, methodologies, precision therapies, prevention, and one day, a cure. To achieve our vision, we support the asthma community with educational resources such as podcasts, bulletins, and in-depth scientific analysis, fostering improved outcomes, doctor-patient relationships, and joint decision-making to empower asthmatics to take charge of their own health.

The TimeToCleantheAir.com Symposium is an exceptional opportunity to bring together leaders, experts, and concerned citizens from around the world to address the challenges of clean air. During the event, participants will have access to informative and thought-provoking sessions led by distinguished speakers.

We are pleased to present the session “Politics of Air – Concepts, Challenges Barriers, Opportunities” led by the World Asthma Foundation. In this session, you will learn about the critical concepts, challenges, barriers, and opportunities of clean indoor air. We will explore the complexities of maintaining clean indoor air, the health impacts of poor indoor air quality, and the barriers to achieving clean indoor air. We will also examine opportunities for improving indoor air quality, such as increasing ventilation, reducing the use of products that emit harmful pollutants, and raising awareness and education about indoor air quality.

We live in interesting times, and clean air is a challenging and often heated political topic. However, we firmly believe that together, we can overcome the obstacles and create a healthier and safer environment for all. Stronger together, we can prevail through the bumpy roads ahead.

Thank you for joining us at this critical event, and we look forward to a productive and enlightening symposium.

Alan Gray
World Asthma Foundation

What you can expect

The TimeToCleantheAir.com Symposium is a virtual and asynchronous, meaning that the event is global and prerecorded for your convenience.

The symposium aims to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of clean air and to explore the challenges, opportunities, and strategies for achieving clean air for all.

Politics of Air – Concepts, Challenges Barriers, Opportunities

DAY 1 Session 1:Speaker: World Asthma Foundation
Breathe Well Live Well

The vision of the World Asthma Foundation (WAF) is to improve the quality of life for all Asthmatics. – by advocating for improved understanding of the causes of Asthma, diagnostic tools, methodologies, precision therapies, prevention and one day a cure. WAF supports the Asthma community with educational resources – podcasts, bulletins and in-depth scientific analysis – to foster improved outcomes, doctor-patient relationships and joint decision-making so Asthmatics can take charge of their own health.

In this session you will le arn:

the Concepts, Challenges Barriers, Opportunities of Clean Indoor Air.

Clean indoor air is a fundamental aspect of human health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, many people around the world still face challenges and barriers when it comes to breathing fresh, clean air indoors. In this article, we will explore the concepts, challenges, barriers, and opportunities of clean indoor air.


According to the World Health Organization, “Indoor air pollution is a major environmental health problem affecting both developed and developing countries.” The organization also notes that “indoor air pollution is responsible for a significant burden of disease and mortality, particularly in children under five years of age in developing countries.”

Key takeaway: Indoor air quality is a critical factor in creating a healthy indoor environment, and poor IAQ can have significant health impacts.


According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “indoor air can be 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air.” This is due to a range of factors, including poor ventilation, the use of chemicals and materials that emit harmful pollutants, and the presence of mold and other allergens.

Key takeaway: Maintaining clean indoor air is a complex challenge that requires addressing multiple sources of pollution.


According to a study by the World Health Organization, “there are currently no global guidelines for indoor air quality, and national guidelines vary widely.” The study notes that this lack of guidelines can make it challenging for individuals and organizations to know how to improve indoor air quality.

In terms of cost, a report by the National Institutes of Health notes that “the cost of improving indoor air quality can be significant, particularly for low-income families and organizations.” The report goes on to note that “there is a need for cost-effective strategies that can be implemented by all individuals and organizations.”

Key takeaway: Barriers to achieving clean indoor air include a lack of regulations and standards and the high cost of implementing measures to improve IAQ.


According to the EPA, “one of the simplest ways to improve indoor air quality is to increase ventilation in buildings.” This can be achieved through the use of air exchange systems, natural ventilation, or opening windows and doors.

In terms of reducing the use of products that emit harmful pollutants, a study by the National Institutes of Health notes that “switching to natural cleaning products can significantly reduce levels of indoor air pollutants.” The study also notes that “avoiding the use of air fresheners and scented candles can also reduce indoor air pollution.”

Finally, there is an opportunity to increase awareness and education about indoor air quality. According to the EPA, “educating individuals and organizations about the importance of indoor air quality is critical in improving IAQ.” The organization notes that “developing educational campaigns and providing information and resources can help individuals and organizations make informed decisions about IAQ.”

Key takeaway: Opportunities for improving indoor air quality include increasing ventilation, reducing the use of products that emit harmful pollutants, and increasing awareness and education about indoor air quality.

In conclusion, there is a significant body of data that supports the concepts, challenges, barriers, and opportunities of clean indoor air. Addressing the challenges and barriers to achieving clean indoor air and taking advantage of the opportunities to improve IAQ are critical steps in creating a healthy and safe indoor environment.

Clean Air for Better Health: World Asthma Day and Indoor Air Quality

As we celebrate World Asthma Day, it is important to acknowledge the risks associated with asthma and the benefits of having clean air. Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a condition that causes the airways in the lungs to become inflamed and narrow, making it difficult to breathe. While outdoor air pollution has been identified as a major risk factor for asthma, the air quality inside our homes and workplaces can also have a significant impact on our health.

To raise awareness about the importance of indoor air quality, the timetocleartheair.com campaign aims to educate people on the simple steps they can take to improve the air quality inside their homes and workplaces. One of the key messages of the campaign is that clean air is essential for good health and well-being.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), indoor air pollution is responsible for over 4 million premature deaths every year. Indoor air pollution can be caused by a variety of factors, including cooking, cleaning, smoking, and the use of certain household products. To achieve clean indoor air, there are several steps that individuals and households can take.

One of the most important steps is to eliminate sources of indoor air pollution. This can include switching to non-toxic cleaning products, using natural air fresheners, and avoiding smoking indoors. In addition, it is important to ensure that ventilation systems are functioning properly and to regularly clean air filters.

Monitoring indoor air quality is also crucial in identifying sources of pollution and taking steps to eliminate them. This can be done using a variety of devices, including air quality monitors and carbon monoxide detectors. Seeking professional help when necessary, such as hiring a professional to assess indoor air quality or installing an air purification system, is also important.

Air pollution is a major risk factor for asthma, and it can trigger asthma symptoms or exacerbate existing asthma. The most common sources of air pollution include traffic emissions, industrial activities, and burning fossil fuels. But indoor air pollution can also contribute to the problem, as allergens, pet dander, mold, and tobacco smoke can all cause asthma symptoms.

Clean the Air for World Asthma Day is a call-to-action that emphasizes the importance of reducing air pollution for the health of people with asthma and the general population. To Clean the Air for World Asthma Day, we need to take action on multiple fronts. One of the most important steps is to reduce outdoor air pollution, which requires government policies and action from industry to reduce emissions.

Individuals can also take steps to reduce their exposure to air pollution and improve their indoor air quality. This includes reducing the use of products that emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), using natural cleaning products, and avoiding smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke. Ventilating indoor spaces properly and regularly cleaning air filters can also help improve indoor air quality.

In addition to these actions, individuals can support policies and organizations that promote clean air. This includes advocating for clean energy and transportation policies, supporting asthma research and education, and participating in local community initiatives to reduce air pollution.

In conclusion, clean air is essential for good health and well-being. By taking simple steps to improve indoor air quality and advocating for policies that reduce air pollution, we can reduce the risk of respiratory problems, including asthma, and enhance our overall quality of life. The timetocleartheair.com campaign and Clean the Air for World Asthma Day are both valuable resources for individuals and households seeking to improve indoor air quality and promote good health.

Will Carbon Capture Work?

Will Carbon Capture Work?

The issue of climate change is a pressing one, and many efforts are underway to mitigate its effects.

One of the most promising technologies for reducing carbon emissions is carbon capture. But will carbon capture work? In this post, we will explore this question and invite industry and academia to share their findings at the upcoming TimeToClearTheAir.com Symposium underwritten by the World Asthma Foundation.

What is Carbon Capture?

Carbon capture is a technology that captures carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air or flue gases emitted by industrial processes and stores it in geological formations or uses it in industrial processes. The captured CO2 is then either stored underground or used for enhanced oil recovery.

The Benefits of Carbon Capture

Carbon capture has several benefits, including:

Reduced carbon emissions: Carbon capture can reduce carbon emissions by up to 90%, making it an effective tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Energy security: By capturing and storing carbon emissions, carbon capture can help reduce dependence on fossil fuels, enhancing energy security.

Job creation: The development and deployment of carbon capture technology can create jobs in research, development, and manufacturing.

Economic growth: Carbon capture can also create economic growth by providing a new industry for the development and deployment of the technology.

Challenges to Carbon Capture

While carbon capture holds great promise, there are also significant challenges to its widespread deployment. Some of these challenges include:

High cost: The high cost of carbon capture technology is a significant barrier to its widespread deployment.

Infrastructure requirements: Carbon capture requires significant infrastructure, including pipelines and storage facilities, which can be challenging to develop.

Environmental risks: There are concerns about the environmental risks of carbon capture, including the possibility of CO2 leakage from storage facilities.

Will Carbon Capture Work?

While there are challenges to carbon capture, there is also evidence that it can work. There are several large-scale carbon capture projects currently underway, including the Petra Nova project in Texas, which captures carbon emissions from a coal-fired power plant and stores them underground.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has also recognized the potential of carbon capture, stating that it is a critical component of efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The Way Forward

To fully realize the potential of carbon capture, more research and development are needed, and industry and academia need to work together to share their findings and collaborate on solutions.

That is why the World Asthma Foundation is underwriting the TimeToClearTheAir.com Symposium, which will bring together experts from industry and academia to share their research and collaborate on solutions to the challenges of carbon capture.

We invite industry and academia to participate in the TimeToClearTheAir.com Symposium and share their findings on carbon capture. Together, we can work towards a sustainable future and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Please contact us if would like to participate.



Pollution Alters Infant Microbiome Says Study

Pollution Alters Infant Microbiome, Influencing Brain Development

Research reflects that exposure to air pollution within the first 6 months of life alters a child’s microbiome, increasing the risk for allergies, diabetes, obesity, and influencing brain development.

Source: University of Colorado

Exposure to air pollution in the first six months of life impacts a child’s inner world of gut bacteria, or microbiome, in ways that could increase risk of allergies, obesity and diabetes, and even influence brain development, suggests new University of Colorado Boulder research.

The study, published this month in the journal Gut Microbes, is the first to show a link between inhaled pollutants—such as those from traffic, wildfires and industry—and changes in infant microbial health during this critical window of development.

Previous research by the same group found similar results in young adults.

“This study adds to the growing body of literature showing that air pollution exposure, even during infancy, may alter the gut microbiome, with important implications for growth and development,” said senior author Tanya Alderete, assistant professor of Integrative Physiology at CU Boulder.

At birth, an infant hosts little resident bacteria. Over the first two to three years of life, exposure to mother’s milk, solid food, antibiotics and other environmental influences shape which microorganisms take hold.

Those microbes, and the metabolites, or byproducts, they produce when they break down food or chemicals in the gut, influence a host of bodily systems that shape appetite, insulin sensitivity, immunity, mood and cognition.

While many are beneficial, some microbiome compositions have been associated with Chrohn’s disease, asthma, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic illnesses.

“The microbiome plays a role in nearly every physiological process in the body, and the environment that develops in those first few years of life sticks with you,” said first author Maximilian Bailey, who graduated in May with a master’s in Integrative Physiology and is now a medical student at Stanford University.

Boosting inflammation

For the study, the researchers obtained fecal samples from 103 healthy, primarily breast-fed Latino infants enrolled in the Southern California Mother’s Milk Study and used genetic sequencing to analyze them.

Using their street addresses and data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality System, which records hourly data from monitoring systems, they estimated exposure to PM2.5 and PM10 (fine inhalable particles from things like factories, wildfires and construction sites) and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), a gas largely emitted from cars.

“Overall, we saw that ambient air pollution exposure was associated with a more inflammatory gut-microbial profile, which may contribute to a whole host of future adverse health outcomes,” said Alderete.

For instance, infants with the highest exposure to PM2.5 had 60% less Phascolarctobacterium, a beneficial bacterium known to decrease inflammation, support gastrointestinal health and aid in neurodevelopment. Those with the highest exposure to PM10 had 85% more of the microorganism Dialister, which is associated with inflammation.

Disadvantaged communities at higher risk

In a previous study, Alderete found that pregnant Latino women exposed to higher levels of air pollution during pregnancy have babies who grow unusually fast in the first month after birth, putting them at risk for obesity and related diseases later in life.

Infants are particularly vulnerable to the health hazards of air pollution because they breathe faster and their gut microbiome is just taking shape.

“This makes early life a critical window where exposure to air pollution may have disproportionately deleterious health effects,” they write.

Racial minorities and low-income communities, who tend to work, live and attend school in regions closer to busy highways or factories, are at even greater risk. One 2018 Environmental Protection Agency study found that communities of color are exposed to as much as 1.5 times more airborne pollutants than their white counterparts.

This shows a baby’s hand in an adults hand
At birth, an infant hosts little resident bacteria. Image is in the public domain

“Our findings highlight the importance of addressing the impact of pollution on disadvantaged communities and point to additional steps all families can take to protect their health,” said Alderete, who hopes her research will influence policymakers to move schools and affordable housing projects away from pollution sources.

The authors caution that more research is needed to determine whether changes in the gut in infancy have lasting impacts, and just what those are. More studies are underway.

Meantime, Alderete advises everyone to take these steps to reduce their exposure to both indoor and outdoor pollutants:

Avoid walking outdoors in high traffic zones
Consider a low-cost air-filtration system, particularly for rooms children spend a lot of time in
If you are cooking, open the windows
And for new moms, breastfeed for as long as possible

Source: Neuroscience.com

“Breast milk is a fantastic way to develop a healthy microbiome and may help offset some of the adverse effects from environmental exposures,” Alderete said.
About this pollution and neurodevelopment research news

Author: Lisa Marshall
Source: University of Colorado
Contact: Lisa Marshall – University of Colorado

“Postnatal exposure to ambient air pollutants is associated with the composition of the infant gut microbiota at 6-months of age” by Maximilian J. Bailey et al. Gut Microbes


Postnatal exposure to ambient air pollutants is associated with the composition of the infant gut microbiota at 6-months of age

Epidemiological studies in adults have shown that exposure to ambient air pollution (AAP) is associated with the composition of the adult gut microbiome, but these relationships have not been examined in infancy.

We aimed to determine if 6-month postnatal AAP exposure was associated with the infant gut microbiota at 6 months of age in a cohort of Latino mother-infant dyads from the Southern California Mother’s Milk Study (n = 103).

We estimated particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) exposure from birth to 6-months based on residential address histories. We characterized the infant gut microbiota using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing at 6-months of age. At 6-months, the gut microbiota was dominated by the phyla Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, and Actinobacteria.

Our results show that, after adjusting for important confounders, postnatal AAP exposure was associated with the composition of the gut microbiota. As an example, PM10 exposure was positively associated with Dialister, Dorea, Acinetobacter, and Campylobacter while PM2.5 was positively associated with Actinomyces.

Further, exposure to PM10 and PM2.5 was inversely associated with Alistipes and NO2 exposure was positively associated with Actinomyces, Enterococcus, Clostridium, and Eubacterium. Several of these taxa have previously been linked with systemic inflammation, including the genera Dialister and Dorea.

This study provides the first evidence of significant associations between exposure to AAP and the composition of the infant gut microbiota, which may have important implications for future infant health and development.