In my job I don’t usually have the pleasure of introducing rock bands. And, I may not get this chance again. So, today allow me the pleasure of welcoming The Breathe Easies!
The Breathe Easies are an asthma-centric rock band of colorful puppet characters, who are one-of-their-kind originals in the world. They are part of a new PSA campaign we launched today with the Ad Council to help raise awareness of the simple steps parents and young children with asthma can take to help prevent asthma attacks.
The Breathe Easies perform songs in English and Spanish about asthma triggers, encouraging families to clean up mold, refrain from smoking in the house, and vacuum the floor. Each song is introduced by the band’s manager, Goldie the goldfish, a modern spin on the iconic fish featured in our first childhood asthma PSA campaign with the Ad Council in 2001.
Why the light-hearted approach to a serious subject? Because when it comes to asthma, awareness and education reduce attacks. So a catchy, attention-grabbing way of informing people about simple steps to prevent asthma attacks becomes a powerful tool in the campaign against asthma. By working with a child’s doctor to identify their individual asthma triggers and developing asthma action plan, families can implement effective asthma management strategies.
Before coming to EPA, I saw this first hand. I was the Executive Director of Improving Kids’ Environments, Inc. where our mission was to protect children from environmental health hazards through initiatives that create environmentally healthy homes, schools and communities. Through that work, I was able to see the direct impact asthma can have on children and families and how empowering it is when parents and asthma patients have the knowledge of what can trigger an asthma attack and how to avoid it. In my current position, I am able to help lead EPA’s efforts with health organizations, government agencies, and others that will improve the lives of the seven million children with asthma in the United States.
Please take a moment to visit www.noattacks.org to view the Breathe Easies music videos and share it with others—your friends, family, and anyone you think would enjoy it. Before you know it, you’ll be grooving to the beat of “Clean Up the Mold” and, more importantly, helping to spread the word to friends and family with asthma about how they can improve their quality of life.
Janet McCabe is the Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, having previously served as OAR’s Principal Deputy to the Assistant Administrator. Prior to joining EPA in November 2009, McCabe was Executive Director of Improving Kids’ Environment, Inc., a children’s environmental health advocacy organization based in Indianapolis, Indiana and was an adjunct faculty member at the Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Public Health. Ms. McCabe grew up in Washington, D.C. and graduated from Harvard College in 1980 and Harvard Law School in 1983.