Cleaner Air Will Help Control Asthma

Three hundred million people suffer from asthma worldwide, and its costs to our kids, families, and society are growing. Today, on World Asthma Day, the Global Initiative for Asthma is raising awareness about asthma by launching a campaign to reduce asthma-related hospitalizations by 50 percent in five years. But we also need to reduce exposure to conditions that aggravate asthma and trigger asthma attacks.

A big part of controlling asthma means cleaning up our air. High and growing asthma rates across the country, particularly among young children, the elderly, minority, and low-income populations, leave more people vulnerable to air pollution. Our air is much cleaner than it was 40 years ago, but it is still not clean. Approximately 159 million Americans live in areas that violate clean air health standards. Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, scientists and health experts must be allowed to establish and enforce safeguards to protect asthma sufferers and others from air pollution.

In "Cleaning Up Our Air for World Asthma Day," Susan Lyon and Jorge Madrid look at asthma in the United States, the conditions that make it worse, and how the EPA’s proposed power plant air toxics standards will help those who suffer from asthma and protect other Americans from air toxics. You can help support the EPA’s proposed standards by clicking on the “take action” links in the column and publicly commenting on the rules.

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