HEALTH EQUITY: Air Quality and Asthma
Where people live can determine their overall health. Our neighborhood conditions can make us healthy or make us sick. So what exactly does that mean? Many contributing factors in our neighborhoods limit the ability to live a healthy life. The air we breathe is one. Some areas expose residents to harmful air quality or toxic materials in homes. It can cause health problems like asthma.
Asthma is a common breathing condition in children and teens. The poor air quality makes it harder to breathe. As stated on KidsHealth from Nemours, “pollutants in the air have the same effect on kids with asthma as other triggers. They irritate the airways, making them swell and tighten up, and cause breathing problems.” The American Lung Association found there is a higher frequency of asthma cases for minority racial and ethnic groups. Often, lower income communities with higher pollution see more cases of triggered asthma attacks. It can expose you to higher air pollutants. Poor air quality is not the only factor that can make our children and teens sick. A family might not have the ability to access quality healthcare to treat the condition. They might not have access to transportation to get to a doctor’s appointment. The inequalities in social conditions increase asthma rates and other chronic diseases.
There are ways to reduce air pollution in your neighborhood, but it takes action from all levels of society to make a significant change. We can all take a stand to improve the conditions we live in. Take a stand for health equity so all neighborhoods in Delaware can be a healthy places to live and thrive.