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Breathe easier: Check air quality with new smartphone app

Take a deep breath — unless your phone tells you otherwise. This week, the American Lung Association announced a free smartphone application designed to help users breathe a little easier. Called “State of the Air,” the new app delivers updated air quality information in the immediate environment.

Utilizing ZIP code and geo-location technology, the app can check levels of ozone and particle pollution, which are the two most common air pollutants, according to the Lung Association’s 2012 State of the Air report, released in April. The report also showed that over 127.2 million people live in U.S. counties with dangerous levels of both.

"More than 40 percent of people in the United States live in areas where air pollution continues to threaten their health," said Dr. Norman H. Edelman, Chief Medical Officer for the American Lung Association in a statement. "The State of the Air app is especially valuable warmer weather, when ozone pollution peaks in many cities with long hot sunny days."

The PSA campaign launched with State of the Air features air-obsessed character “Alvin Grimes,” who collects air in jars from various locations around the world (see video above).

The American Lung Association app is available for Apple in iTunes, Android in Google Play or right here.