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Jared Kushner finally granted his security clearance. Also on our nationwide rundown: a new lawsuit seeks the release of a gay man from ICE Detention in Pennsylvania; and protecting an Arizona water source for millions near Phoenix.

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May is National Asthma Awareness Month

May 29, 2012

BISMARCK, N.D. - May is Asthma Awareness Month, encouraging North Dakotans to learn more about the chronic respiratory disease and its triggers. Jill Heins, regional director of respiratory health for the American Lung Association in the Dakotas and Minnesota, says its prevalence has been growing for decades, and it's now thought to affect about 10 percent of children in North Dakota, although exact figures are not available as they are in other states.

"We don't have access to the same data resources. However, we know on an average across the country, one of ten kids have asthma, so that would be true for North Dakota as well."

Heins says there are a number of triggers that can bring on asthma attacks, including dust mites, pet dander, mold, pollen and air pollutants. Still, she says, management of the disease has come a long way.

"Your child should be able to sleep through the night. They should be able to go through the day and participate in sports and recess and other 'normal kid activities,' without any problem. And they should be able to get by just wonderfully with as few medications as possible."

Heins says asthma can be hereditary. It can also be brought on by exposure to tobacco smoke in childhood.

Nationwide, the EPA says, nearly 26 million people have asthma, including seven million children.

More information is at www.lung.org.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - ND