Contact Us


All News Releases By Date


EPA Awards NJDEP $50,000 Grant for Asthma Outreach and Education Initiative

Release Date: 10/21/2004
Contact Information:
(#04160) CAMDEN, New Jersey -- Advancing its work to protect the health of children, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) a $50,000 grant for a project to reduce asthma attacks in children, through environmental and medical intervention. The project is a collaboration between federal, state and local entities and Rutgers University; it will target Camden and other New Jersey communities with high asthma rates. The ultimate goal is to reduce the number of emergency room visits, hospitalizations and missed school days caused by childhood asthma.

"This grant will further EPA's work to educate families about asthma triggers in their homes and assist them in maintaining healthy environments for their children," said EPA Regional Administrator Jane Kenny. "Studies have shown that asthma intervention works. That's why EPA is so pleased to support this effort to continue New Jersey's asthma outreach and education program in the communities most in need."

Today's announcement kicks off Children's Health month during which government agencies and academic and private institutions focus special attention on children, the group most vulnerable to health risks caused by pollution of the air, land and water.

By combining resources from federal and state agencies and local institutions, the project encourages sustainable, community-based programs that promote and maintain healthy environments. The project, which NJDEP will oversee, will be a model that can be implemented in other communities around New Jersey as well.

"Children clearly benefit from intervention programs which focus on controlling the substances that can provoke asthma attacks," said NJDEP Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell. "The EPA grant money will help fund the much needed outreach services in Camden and other urban areas where the rate of childhood asthma is particularly high."

NJDEP will use the grant money to incorporate educational material about asthma management into an ongoing literacy program for Camden residents. The Department will also conduct workshops, demonstrations and in-home assessments to educate schoolchildren, parents and child care providers about asthma triggers. In New Jersey, more than 150,000 schoolchildren suffer from asthma. It is the fourth most common cause of pediatric visits to the doctor's office and accounts for one-third of all pediatric emergency room visits.

The grant, awarded by EPA, is one of a series of asthma grants awarded nationwide that demonstrate environmental intervention, in combination with medical attention, leads to a reduction of emergency room visits, hospitalizations and missed school days among children with asthma.