- About Us
- Ways To Give
- Our Programs
- The COPD Crisis
BREATHE LA History
BREATHE California of Los Angeles County ("BREATHE LA") 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 LA has undergone a number of name changes, including:
- 1927 - Incorporated as Los Angeles Tuberculosis & Health Association
- 1952 - Los Angeles County Tuberculosis and Health Association
- 1958 - Tuberculosis & Health Association of Los Angeles County
- 1968 - Tuberculosis & Respiratory Disease Association of Los Angeles County
- 1974 - Lung Association of Los Angeles County
- 1979 - American Lung Association of Los Angeles County
- 2006 - BREATHE California of Los Angeles County
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 California of Los Angeles County ("BREATHE LA") rebranded itself in 2006, continuing our mission dedicated to healthy 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 LA emphasizes our focus as an independent lung health organization to address Los Angeles County'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 LA is a member of the BREATHE America Alliance, a network of nationwide independent lung health organizations, and BREATHE California Coalition, including four other BREATHE California organizations that focus on Central Coast, Sacramento-Emigrant Trails, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara-San Benito Counties. The BREATHE 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.
To learn more about the activities of our affiliates and our statewide presence, visit www.breathecalifornia.org
To support the programs and services designed to meet the specific needs of our Los Angeles communities, donate now.