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EPA Launches 2004 Asthma Fight, Debuts Spanish Video
Release Date: 05/04/2004
Contact: Lina Younes 202-564-9924 / email@example.com
John Millett 202-564-7842 / firstname.lastname@example.org
(Washington, D.C. - May 4, 2004) EPA today kicked-off Asthma Awareness Month by releasing a new video to help millions of asthma sufferers manage common asthma triggers found inside and around the home. EPA Office of Air and Radiation Assistant Administrator Jeff Holmstead joined with state and local officials in El Paso, Texas and Sunland Park, N.M. to premiere “Controlando Los Factores del Asma,” an educational video to advance the national effort to control childhood asthma.Nationwide, 20 million Americans suffer from asthma, a chronic respiratory disease that killed almost 5,000 people in 2000. Among Hispanics, more than 2 million suffer from asthma, and a number of studies have found that people living in Puerto Rico or of Puerto Rican descent report higher rates of asthma than other Hispanic groups. Hispanics also report more asthma attacks and emergency room visits for asthma treatment than other ethnic groups.
“EPA hopes to reduce asthma attacks by increasing awareness about the role of environmental asthma triggers in causing and exacerbating asthma,” said Holmstead. “With this new video the EPA is reaching out to Hispanics, in particular, because they tend to have asthma attacks treated more frequently in the emergency rooms than other groups. This video makes clear that asthma is most effectively managed and controlled by learning more about it and working with a doctor.”
After releasing the video, Holmstead visited with state and local officials and students at an elementary school in New Mexico. Sunland Park Elementary School received an Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools (IAQ TfS) Great Start Award from EPA for efforts to promote healthy indoor environments for students and staff. New Mexico is committed to implementing IAQ TfS in schools statewide. Holmstead also spent time in the classroom teaching students to recognize and control factors in the environment that affect asthma, allergies and student performance.
Asthma is a major public health problem in the U.S., costing over $14 billion in 2002 for health expenditures and lost productivity. Asthma rates have skyrocketed since 1980, and children have been particularly hard hit by the asthma epidemic. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 9 million children in the U.S. have been diagnosed with asthma and 4 million children had asthma attacks within the last year. Children are disproportionately affected by asthma and asthma is the leading chronic illness among children. Nearly 1 in 13 school-age children has asthma and the rate is rising more rapidly in preschool-aged children than in any other age group.
In addition to releasing the new Spanish asthma video, EPA posts information on its Web site, https://www.epa.gov/asthma, in both English and Spanish on how to identify and manage asthma triggers. Tips for reducing asthma attacks include avoiding secondhand smoke, keeping pets outside or away from sleeping areas, washing bedding weekly in hot water, avoiding mold growth by reducing moisture and checking the Air Quality Index (AQI) report for information on outdoor air quality.
The EPA Web site also includes fact sheets, brochures, children’s activity books with lessons about asthma management and educational videos. Parents and caregivers can call the No Attacks hotline at 1-866-NOATTACKS (1-866-662-8822) for additional information on how to prevent asthma attacks.