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Take Action, Get Healthy – Help Control Asthma

2010 May 4

May is Asthma Awareness Month and this month serves as a rally point for our work to help people with asthma live full and active lives.

AAM-Blog-Image_Alisa-SmithAsthma is not going away – nearly 23 million people suffer from this chronic disease and more than 7 million are children. This alarming statistic reminds me why asthma awareness is so imperative and the importance of my role in helping asthma sufferers live a healthier, active lifestyle.

I first became interested in public health policy about eight years ago. From my research at the University of Virginia, I knew indoor allergens affected asthma. However, as the rate of asthma continued to rise, I wanted to take this research and move it into practice – to increase public awareness and create actionable strategies that help get asthma under control. Now, as a member of the EPA Asthma Team, I am dedicated to helping people avoid the indoor triggers that make asthma worse.

Environmental asthma triggers can cause asthma symptoms such as coughing or wheezing, and even more severe problems, such as an asthma attack. Common triggers include secondhand smoke, allergens from animal dander, dust mites, molds, and pests such as cockroaches and mice. Since we spend the majority of our time inside, at home, at school, or at work, indoor triggers are a serious risk for most people with asthma. For children, asthma is a leading cause of school absenteeism due to chronic illness.

Do you or someone you know have asthma?

  • Learn more about asthma symptoms, environmental triggers, prevention steps, and resources to help deal with asthma.
  • Locate a local community awareness event and get directly involved!
  • Encourage your child’s doctor, school nurse, teacher, and other asthma advocate in your community to learn more about their role in asthma management at the 2010 National Asthma Forum.
  • Make changes in the home environment. Take the smoke-free home pledge to help create healthy, smoke free environments.

Although we still don’t know how to cure asthma, we do know what it takes for people with asthma to live a full and active lifestyle. We use all the tools we have – air quality regulations, research, and education – and it’s rewarding to be part of that effort at EPA. What action will you take this month to help get asthma under control?

About the author: Alisa Smith is a biologist with the Indoor Environments Division’s Asthma Education and Outreach Program.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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3 Responses leave one →
  1. armansyahardanis permalink
    May 5, 2010

    The first, our sympathies to the people of USA about impact of oil spill disaster in your country. Asthma are complexities, like the absolute problem of the creatures of this universe. If I’m not wrong, the human always the winner, and challengecism always subjection…..

  2. drhealthyliving permalink
    May 5, 2010

    Yes, I am very aware of asthma and its affects as I have two children who have it. Thank goodness through alot of my own research on how to have an asthma-friendly home, their asthma is very well controlled. I took my passion of educating others about this issue, and my professional knowledge of being a licensed Interior Designer and now create healthy-n-green homes, offices and public spaces. Through my non-profit work I partner with other non-profits and get the message out that there is hope and there are answers. This month, my son graduates from an Arts school playing the Tuba (also Tae Kwon Do, Soccer) with my daughter not far behind playing the French Horn, cheerleading and gymnastics. I have “been there” and “done it”. Kudos for the EPA to get on board with this educational website.

  3. Michael E. Bailey permalink
    May 6, 2010

    I have a number of friends that are members of People First and the regional center who have asthma in addition to their disabilities. Many have to take inhailers wherever they go and a few have it so bad they need to take oxygen treatments at home. It seems like where more diesel fuel is used there is more asthma and breathing problems. Near train yards, truck terminals, ports, people who live closer to these and busy freeways have more problems. This is another reason to move to hydrogen and all-electric powered vehicles and us solar power to manufacture the hydrogen and recharge electric batteries. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

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