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Asthma and climate change

A warming climate is increasing smog and pollen and increasing risks of more asthma attacks. Some steps those at risk can take.

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Bad news for all of us who breathe.

Climate change may contribute to more asthma attacks.

Longer, hotter summers are increasing smog and pollen while decreasing air quality.

Ozone and pollen can worsen existing allergies and trigger asthma attacks.

“Climate change is going to make it more difficult for people who struggle with respiratory illness to stay healthy.” – Kim Knowlton, Asst. Clinical Prof. of Environmental Health Sciences, Columbia University

More than 24 million Americans suffer from asthma.

Children are particularly vulnerable, especially black and Puerto Rican children.

“As a pediatrician, I worry most about children, because their lungs are still growing and because they breathe faster than adults.” – Dr. Perry Sheffield, Mt. Sinai Doctors Faculty Practice

Cutting carbon pollution is key to reducing this problem.

In California alone, reducing emissions could save $477 million in health costs.

Health professionals also recommend taking other precautions, such as: Doing laundry regularly, running a wet washcloth through your hair when you get home, and keeping your pets clean. These all reduce the amount of pollen that enters your home.

“Climate change’s health effects are not abstract, they’re not far away in distance or in time. They’re really happening right here and now.” – Kim Knowlton

Video production credit: Elise Gilchrist

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