The health impact of poor air quality: CDC’s focus for asthma awareness month

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Asthma, a chronic disease that affects the lungs, impacts more than 25 million people in the United States, including 1 in 11 children. It causes 3 in 5 people living with asthma to limit their physical activity or miss days at school and work. Asthma is also expensive, costing the nation $56 billion each year. On May 6th,World Asthma Day and throughout May, people with asthma and organizations dedicated to asthma control and education join together to increase awareness about asthma and improve the lives of everyone living with  this disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Asthma Awareness Toolkit is a resource featuring a variety of items to help people living with asthma and partner organizations take control of and raise awareness about the disease, including:

  • Key action messages
  • Videos and audio podcasts
  •  Sample social media posts for Facebook and Twitter
  • A personal asthma action plan builder

Access the toolkit here: http://www.cdc.gov/asthma/world_asthma_day.htm

On Thursday, May 1, 2014, at 2:00 pm EDT, experts from CDC and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are teaming up to host a Twitter chat to answer questions about asthma, air quality, and how to create an asthma action plan.

To join the conversation: Use thehashtag in your messages during the chat, and be sure to follow@CDCEnvironment and @EPAliveon Twitter! If you don’t have a Twitter account, you can post your questions in the comments section onEPA's It’s Our Environment blog at http://blog.epa.gov/blog/2014/04/have-a-question-about-asthma/. No registration is required.

Background

CDC’s National Asthma Control Program (NACP) funds 36 state and territorial state asthma programs. People living with asthma are particularly affected by air pollution. Ozone air pollution, more common in the summer months, can trigger asthma attacks, leading to increased medication use, visits to emergency departments, and hospital admissions.

People with asthma and other chronic respiratory conditions can access daily air quality forecasts to plan outdoor activities for times when air pollution is predicted to be low, including air quality conditions for 400 U.S. cities, by visiting AirNow at http://www.airnow.gov or via the AirNow mobile app (http://m.epa.gov/apps/airnow.html.) Email updates are available via the Enviroflash e-mail service (http://www.enviroflash.info.)

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