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Asthma & the Environment Oklahoma Asthma Initiative American Lung Association of the Central States.

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Presentation on theme: "Asthma & the Environment Oklahoma Asthma Initiative American Lung Association of the Central States."— Presentation transcript:

1 Asthma & the Environment Oklahoma Asthma Initiative American Lung Association of the Central States

2 Learning Objectives Objective 1: Describe the burden of asthma in Oklahoma Objective 2: Demonstrate effective approaches to environmental asthma management Objective 3: Discuss building partnerships for health promotion and advocacy

3 Asthma in Oklahoma Asthma continues to be a significant public health concern About 21 million Americans have asthma About 5,000 deaths occur annually from asthma 8.5% of Oklahoma adults have asthma 9.2% of Oklahoma children have asthma Asthma affects nearly 1 in 13 school-aged children in Oklahoma

4 Asthma 101 Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways Characterized by coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath Airways are inflamed, swollen and have increased mucus production as a response to a trigger

5 Asthma 101 (continued)

6 Asthma Triggers Asthma triggers are categorized as: Allergens and Irritants Allergens include: pet dander, dust mites, pollens Irritants include: tobacco smoke, outdoor air pollution, strong odors

7 Asthma & the Environment We spend 90% of our time indoors Many asthma triggers can be found indoors The time spent outside can compromise our lung health Particles in air pollution can aggravate asthma and respiratory symptoms.

8 Asthma Management There is no cure for asthma, but it can be managed and controlled Asthma management includes: Taking medications, as prescribed by a health care professional Following an asthma action plan Identifying and controlling asthma triggers

9 Asthma & the Environment Children are sensitive to air pollutiontheir lungs are developing and they have a faster breathing rate Diesel exhaust emissions Diesel exhaust contains significant levels of small particles, known as fine particulate matter. Exposure to particulate matter, especially fine particles, is associated with increased frequency of childhood illness and is a trigger for asthma Diesel exhaust contributes to ozone formation

10 Diesel Exhaust Emissions-Health Effects In the short term, breathing in diesel fumes can cause coughing, itchy or burning eyes, chest constriction, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. Long term exposure to diesel fumes may increase the risk of lung cancer and possibly bladder cancer. There is additional evidence that the fine particles in DPM can aggravate heart problems.

11 What Can We Do? Do not allow school buses or other vehicles such as delivery trucks to idle on school grounds and discourage carousing. Idling school buses can pollute air in and around the bus Idling buses waste fuel and money When idling, a typical school bus engine burns approximately half a gallon of fuel per hour. Idling buses cause engine wear and tear Recommendation for warming up is no more than 5 min.

12 What Can We Do? Retrofit engines with an exhaust filtration device to capture particulate matter. Regular maintenance of diesel engines is essential to keep exhaust emissions down

13 What Can We Do? Minimize the time that children spend outside when school buses are arriving or departing Discourage drivers from following directly behind other large vehicles, including school buses – especially if they see visible smoke being emitted

14 Questions

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