Join the Campaign to Fight Asthma and Dirty Air in Latino Communities!

By Jorge Madrid on 06/02/2011 @ 07:00 PM

Tags: Center for American Progress, asthma, Jorge Madrid

LULAC and the Center for American Progress Action Fund Push for Cleaner Air

By Jorge Madrid, Center for American Progress

Espanol

LULAC is partnering with the Center for American Progress Action Fund to lead a campaign against asthma and other harmful health effects from coal-fired power plants. This campaign is already underway, and it will continue until July 2, 2011.

Asthma affects all Americans. But Latino communities are particularly vulnerable to respiratory diseases such as asthma. They are three times more likely than whites to die from it. Latino children are also 60 percent more at risk than white children to suffer asthma attacks. These crippling health disparities are made worse by the fact that Latinos are the least likely of all ethnic groups to have health insurance and access to treatment and preventive care.

Higher asthma rates also mean more missed days of work and school in addition to increased medical costs. Every day in America, 40,000 people miss school or work due to asthma, and 5,000 people visit the emergency room due to the disease.

Asthma is triggered by dirty air, and asthma rates are higher in places with bad air quality. Exhaust from cars, factory emissions, smoke, and dust cause poor air quality, which can aggravate the lungs and worsen chronic lung diseases, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Coal-fired power plants are also a big part of the problem. Power plant pollutants are a well-known trigger, as is smog. Asthma has no known cure, but it can be controlled by limiting exposure to these triggers.

The EPA is responsible for protecting our children and families from dangerous pollutants and toxins. They have a proven track record of reducing deaths and illness due to stronger clean air standards.

The EPA took a critical step toward cleaner air on March 16, 2011, by proposing its first-ever air toxics standards for coal-fired plants. The proposed rule would limit emissions of mercury, arsenic, and other air toxics from power plants for the first time. Adoption of the air toxics rule will prevent approximately 17,000 premature deaths, 120,000 asthma attacks, and 12,000 hospitalizations and emergency room visits every year in 2016, according to EPA.

All Americans should make a strong statement to the EPA that they want reductions in mercury, arsenic, and other toxic air pollution from power plants. Latino communities in particular can send a message that they want clean, healthy air for their children and families.

LULAC urges its members to take action against asthma and dirty air in our communities!

iTome medidas para asegurar un aire limpio ahora!

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