World Asthma Day Highlights Attacks on Clean-Air Standards
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
PITTSBURGH – Tuesday is World Asthma Day and advocates are concerned that weakening clean-air rules and cutting EPA funding in Washington will make things worse. Pittsburgh ranks eighth on the American Lung Association's list of worst cities in the nation for air quality, and air pollution can trigger asthma.
For years, the air quality has been slowly improving but there's still a long way to go.
So Patrice Tomcik, field organizer for Moms Clean Air Force, believes actions such as President Trump's executive order rescinding the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan is a big step backward.
"To roll back these protections and to cut budgets is really going to impact those who are most vulnerable, the elderly, anybody who has lung issues, along with children," she says.
Almost 13 percent of children in Allegheny County suffer from asthma, compared with 8.4 percent nationally.
Doctor Deborah Gentile is director of asthma research at the Pediatric Alliance in Pittsburgh. She has found pockets of asthma rates as high as 35 percent among inner-city school children living in areas close to sources of air pollution.
"For instance, here in Pittsburgh, two of the areas where we're finding higher rates of asthma are located right by a coke-work facility as well as an active steel mill," Gentile says.
Other sources of air pollution include power plants, vehicles and emissions from oil and gas facilities.
Nationally, about 77,000 children miss school each day because of complications related to asthma.
But, as Tomcik points out, parents can't control the quality of the air their children breathe. It's up to the government to establish rules and enforce them.
"We did not vote to make America dirty again," Tomcik adds. "Nobody wants polluted air. If you give any parent a choice they are, of course, going to want to have clean air for their children."
get more stories like this via email
Frustrated environmental and clean-energy advocates say after four long years of debate and compromise, regulators sent Arizona back to the starting …
When North Dakotans head out to cast their ballots later this year, there is a chance some will do so in a voting center and not a designated …
South Dakota continues to grapple with its low ranking when it comes to paying schoolteachers, but the issue is getting focus in 2022, including a …
Health and Wellness
Washington state lawmakers are considering a measure to limit the growing cost of prescription drugs. Senate Bill 5532 would establish a …
The state of Illinois is allocating nearly a quarter-billion dollars to support new downstate transit and ports projects. Roughly half will go …
Health and Wellness
Advocates and faith groups are calling for more investments in harm reduction across the state, as new provisional data shows overdose deaths have …
More than 300 Kentucky farmers participated in the state's Farms to Food Banks program last year, and at a recent virtual rally, state officials said …
Farmers and ranchers in Montana and across the nation are calling on Congress to pass the American Beef Labeling Act. Most food is required to have …