Obama Administration Targets Asthma in Low-Income Communities
By Erin Weaver U.S. federal agencies have announced a plan to reduce disparities in childhood asthma, which disproportionately affects low-income and minority families. Nearly 26 million Americans suffer from asthma, and the annual economic cost is estimated to be $56 billion. Says Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, “We must do everything we can to ensure all children have a healthy place to call home.”
The plan will coordinate efforts among agencies involved in health and environmental quality to target services to communities most at risk; to increase understanding of its causes; and to test preventive measures. For example, the plan recommends that federally assisted housing include policies to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke, pests, mold, and other asthma triggers, encouraging state and local governments to do the same. It also recommends coordination between health and housing programs to identify opportunities for asthma management, reduce environmental exposure, and encourage referrals to health services; programs involved could include weatherization and lead remediation efforts. For more information, see .
July 1, 2012
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