Breathless: Pittsburgh’s asthma epidemic and the fight to stop it

Read the full story in Environmental Health News.

Asthma plagues children in Allegheny County—and air pollution is making it worse.

How bad is it? With data lacking, a pediatrician and her colleagues set out to put a number on the problem. Testing more than 1,200 elementary school students, they found that 22 percent of kids in the region have asthma. At the state level, just 10 percent of kids have asthma.

The national average? Eight percent.

And there were consistently higher rates of asthma among kids living close to the region’s big industrial polluters.

We’re going beyond the numbers. Meet the children who get pulled from school or football practice because they cannot catch their breath, and the concerned parents trying to give their kids a normal, healthy life. Meet the scientists teasing out the true cost of growing up in the shadow of belching industrial plants, and the doctors and nurses on a campaign to reach kids living at the frontlines of pollution.

“Breathless” is EHN’s in-depth look at Pittsburgh’s asthma epidemic and the fight to stop it.

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