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Science Notebook

Identifying Environmental Risks in Asthma

Asthma is a lung disease. As we breathe, everything in the air is accessible to the lungs, including indoor and outdoor air contaminants that may cause and worsen asthma. Extensive research links asthma to ozone, particle pollution and a host of common indoor environmental asthma triggers.

Mold and Asthma Audio Slideshow

News headlines resulting from moldy, water damaged homes and the aftermath of hurricanes have raised public awareness of molds as a potential health hazard. Marsha Ward, research biologist with EPA’s Office of Research and Development, explains molds and their effects on asthma.
(Running time = 7:40)

Ozone and particle pollution aggravate asthma and can cause asthma attacks.

What is Ozone?

What is Particle Pollution?

Ground level ozone, a harmful air pollutant, is formed when pollutants emitted by cars, power plants, industrial boilers, refineries, chemical plants and other sources react chemically in the presence of sunlight.

Airborne particles, the main ingredient of haze, smoke and airborne dust, present serious air quality problems in many areas of the United States.

Quiz: What Triggers Asthma Attacks?

One person’s triggers can be very different from another person’s. Take this short quiz to learn some common asthma triggers and how easy it is to eliminate them from your environment.

Air Pollutants and Asthma Exit EPA Disclaimer 

Dr. David Peden on Allergy Research
EPA partners with many scientists to help close the gaps in our understanding of asthma. One of these scientists is David Peden, MD, PhD, Director, University of North Carolina Center for Environmental Medicine, Asthma and Lung Biology. Listen as Dr. Peden talks about his work on the effects of environmental agents on asthma.

Meet the Scientist

Alisa SmithAlisa Smith of the Indoor Environments Division discusses common indoor environmental triggers, including secondhand smoke, animal dander, dust mites, molds and pests, such as cockroaches and mice. Listen to how EPA is translating research findings into action that leads to reduced asthma symptoms.
(Running time = 4:51)      View Audio Transcript


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