Take the Care for Your Air Tour: Get a quick glimpse of some of the most important ways to protect the air in your home by touring the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) House. Room-by-room, you'll learn about the key pollutants and how to address them.
Join the Online Community Network:Communities in Action for Asthma-Friendly Environments Online Network is a year-round resource for mentoring and collaboration designed to support your asthma management program. Learn more about and join the Online Community Network.
Parents and Caregivers
Health Care Professionals
Learn about asthma studies and how you can help patients manage environmental asthma triggers.
Communities in Action for Asthma-Friendly Environments Online Network
AsthmaCommunityNetwork.org is a year-round resource for mentoring and collaboration designed to support your asthma management program. Access cutting-edge tools that facilitate collaboration, problem solving, and learning between leaders of asthma programs. Learn more about and join the Online Community Network
Find information on Webinars; Discussion Forums; National Locator; Action Strategies; Pacing Events; Tools; and Recognitions Opportunities.
National Asthma Forum: Community leaders from across the nation are meeting to share best practices and discuss effective strategies for managing asthma and improving health outcomes for people with asthma in your community.
Climate Change refers to any significant change in measures of climate (such as temperature, precipitation, or wind) lasting for an extended period (decades or longer). Climate change may result from:
Natural factors, such as changes in the sun's intensity or slow changes in the Earth's orbit around the sun;
Natural processes within the climate system (e.g. changes in ocean circulation);
Human activities that change the atmosphere's composition (e.g. through burning fossil fuels) and the land surface (e.g. deforestation, reforestation, urbanization,desertification, etc.)
Connect with National programs
In May, 2012, the President's Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children released the Coordinated Federal Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Asthma Disparities, which is an outcome of the collaborative interagency Asthma Disparities Working Group, co-chaired by HHS, EPA and HUD. The goal of the Action Plan is to reduce the burden caused by asthma, especially among children — in particular, minority children and children with family incomes below the poverty level. The plan will promote synergy and alignment across numerous federal programs. It emphasizes priority actions that demonstrate a high positive impact on addressing preventable factors that lead to asthma disparities.
Check out our MARAN Newsletter
Asthma is a serious, sometimes life-threatening respiratory disease that affects the quality of life for millions of Americans. Although there is no cure for asthma yet, asthma can be controlled through medical treatment and management of environmental triggers. EPA is committed to educating all Americans about asthma so that everyone knows what asthma is, how the environment can affect asthma patients and how to manage environmental asthma triggers.
- Asthma leads to 2 million emergency room visits and 5,000 deaths per year in the U.S.
- Asthma accounted for more than 14 million missed school days in 2000.
- Asthma costs (health care costs and lost productivity) totaled $14 billion in 2002.
Asthma Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Asthma?
- Who Gets Asthma?
- What Causes Asthma?
- Common Environmental Asthma Triggers
- What Happens During an Asthma Attack?
- How is Asthma Diagnosed?
- How is Asthma Treated and Controlled?
- Secondhand (cigarette) Smoke
- Cockroaches and Other Pests
- Dust Mites & House Dust
- Pets and Other Animals
- Nitrogen Dioxide
- Cells in the air tubes make more mucus than normal. The mucus is thick and sticky and tends to clog up the air tubes.
- Cells in the airways get inflamed, causing the air tubes to swell.
- The muscles around the air tubes tighten. These changes cause the air tubes to narrow and make it hard to breathe.
Symptoms occur or worsen in the presence of exercise, allergens, irritants, and viral infections (e.g. cold and flu). Young children whose primary symptom is a cough or who wheeze with respiratory infections are often misdiagnosed as having bronchitis or pneumonia (including acute respiratory infection, ARI), and thus are ineffectively treated with antibiotics or cough suppressants. Tobacco smokers and elderly patients frequently suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - COPD with symptoms similar to asthma. Yet they may also have asthma and benefit from treatment.
Control of asthma is defined as the absence of symptoms and acute attacks, no use of relief medication, no emergency room visits, normal activity level, including exercise, and normal lung function. To control your asthma you should know what you can do to reduce your chances of having an attack and what to do if you have an asthma episode. Talk to your doctor to set up an asthma management plan. You can download a sample Asthma Action Plan (PDF, 2 pp, 119KB, info about PDF) to help you work with your doctor to create an asthma action plan for your individual circumstances. Together, you and your doctor can monitor your asthma, determine common triggers and how to avoid them, and access the best medications to treat your asthma.
When you and your doctor make the plan, be sure to include:
- Your child's asthma triggers.
- Instructions for asthma medicines.
- What to do if your child has an asthma attack.
- When to call your doctor.
- Emergency telephone numbers.
Asthma Awareness Month Activities in Region III
U.S. EPA Region 3
Air Protection Division
Office of Voluntary Programs
Mail Code (3AP50)
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
Fax (215) 814-2101
Toll Free 1-800-438-2474
In-state (215) 814-5000
Related Asthma links