BREATHE Southern California is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that promotes clean air and healthy lungs through education, research, technology and advocacy. Our goal is to promote community health services through prevention, education and early diagnosis for low-income underserved individuals suffering from respiratory related chronic conditions such as asthma, lung disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) which is now the third leading cause of death in the United States. While COPD continues to be on the rise, it remains one of the most poorly funded areas of medical treatment, advocacy and research. COPD has now reached epidemic proportions with more than 15 million Americans diagnosed with COPD and of that number, more than 300,000 Los Angeles residents having been diagnosed with the disease.
Breathe Southern California (Breathe SoCal) was first formed in 1903 as an independent lung health organization called the Los Angeles Society for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis. The organization served the city’s growing population of more than 300,000. For more than 30 years, the organization was committed to increasing public awareness about the tuberculosis (TB) epidemic and other lung-related diseases-including asthma, bronchitis and emphysema and working towards eradicating these diseases. Since its creation in 1903, Breathe SoCal has undergone a number of name changes, including:
Incorporated as Los Angeles Tuberculosis & Health Association
Los Angeles County Tuberculosis and Health Association
Tuberculosis & Health Association of Los Angeles County
Tuberculosis & Respiratory Disease Association of Los Angeles County
Lung Association of Los Angeles County
American Lung Association of Los Angeles County
BREATHE California of Los Angeles County
Breathe Southern California
Advances in technology, healthcare access and medicine all contributed to a dramatic downturn in active TB cases. As a result, the organization began to take an increased interest in the relationships between air pollution and respiratory disease. During the mid-20th Century, the fight against smog in Los Angeles became a major effort and the measuring of air pollution began. In the early 1970s, the organization focused on the prevention and control of lung disease and sponsored extensive research on the effects of air pollution on respiratory health. We were one of the first organizations to do so and we carry on this tradition today. For a number of years, the organization was affiliated with the American Lung Association (ALA) and American Lung Association of California (ALAC). In 2006, the organization ended its affiliation with ALA and ALAC, and is no longer affiliated in any way with those organizations.
Breathe Southern California (Breathe SoCal ) rebranded itself in 2006, continuing our mission dedicated to clean air and preventing lung and other air pollution related diseases by partnering with youth, advocating public policy, supporting lung health research, and educating the public. Breathe SoCal emphasizes our focus as an independent lung health organization to address Southern California’s specific air quality and health needs. As pediatric asthma rates increased nationwide, the organization also placed greater emphasis on asthma education programs, while continuing to pursue clean air initiatives.
Breathe SoCal is a member of the BREATHE America Alliance, a network of nationwide independent lung health organizations, and the BREATHE California Coalition, which includes two other BREATHE California organizations that focus on the Sacramento Region and the San Francisco Bay Area/Silicon Valley/Central Coast. The Breathe Southern California coalition focuses on localized programs and comes together to implement programs and research that benefit all Californians. We work together to advance primary and secondary lung disease prevention and interventions, as well as advocate for clean air policies and practices in Sacramento.
To learn more about the activities of our affiliates and our statewide presence, visit www.breathecalifornia.org.
Promoting clean air and healthy lungs through research, education, advocacy and technology.
To provide resources that educate families living in the Southern California region to improve their community’s air quality and lung health.
Statewide, 1.2 million children have asthma and half of those children have never been given an asthma management plan. Of the 1.2 million, 200,000 live in Los Angeles – a city with the nation’s worst air quality.
We provide under-resourced neighborhoods with effective lung health services to change how they live their everyday lives. It can increase their access to proper healthcare, improve their overall health, and keep children in school.
The fight for clean air is a tough battle, but it is possible. We work with local experts, community members, and politicians to advocate for the best practices in reclaiming the air you breathe and protecting every lung.
We believe we are all in this together! Help us end air pollution and usher in healthy lungs for all. Join us and make a lasting impact in your community. Become a donor and give the gift of clean air all year long.
Director of Operations
Senior Manager of Advocacy & Public Policy
Senior Manager of Programs & Research
Senior Manager of Development
Development & Communications Associate
Advocacy & Public Policy Outreach Associate
Program & Outreach Associate
Web Design Intern
Advocacy & Public Policy Intern
Partnership & Data Analyst Intern