Monday, March 19, 2012

Asthma and Air Pollution

Today EPA Secretary Lisa Jackson was part of a blogger conference call, sponsored by Moms Rising, that focused on the impact of air pollution on asthma in adults and children.  One of the other speakers was a mother whose child had died of asthma. 

Mom's Clean Air Force has fact sheets on Asthma and also on Mercury.  This is not just a problem in the big cities -- rural areas with intense areas of industry or drilling also have high percentages of asthma.

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Health has a separate information  site for asthma.  A few points from that page:  In a 2005 report, 1 in 10 Pennsylvania children indicated they currently have asthma.  
Approximately $368,000,000 was charged in Pennsylvania for inpatient hospitalizations due to asthma (not including physician charges).   Average stay was 3 days, average cost per stay over $15K.      

On both the state and national level, African American children have higher rates of asthma that do Whites / Caucasians.  On the national level African American children died of asthma at 500% the rate of White children.  

I wonder if the cost of regulations to ensure cleaner air would be more or less than the $36 million it cost to hospitalize asthma patients (and that was in 2003; chances are the cost went up).  

Just a thought.

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