Asthma is a chronic lung condition in which the airways become inflamed, making it harder to breathe. Asthma can cause wheezing, breathlessness, coughing, chest tightness, disturbed sleep, school absences, curtailed physical activity, hospital visits, and, in rare cases, death. More than 8% of all US children have asthma. It is the most common chronic disease of childhood.
There is growing evidence that the onset of childhood asthma can be triggered by air pollution.
What causes asthma?
Asthma is a complex disease with multiple factors, but air pollution can cause asthma and trigger asthma attacks. Diesel exhaust, smog, particle pollution, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, wildfire smoke, and volatile organic compounds are all air pollutants that make asthma worse. Asthma attacks can also be triggered by pollen and heat.
As climate change worsens, temperatures rise steadily. Across the country, with Alaska at the forefront, temperature records are being obliterated. Hot days mean higher incidences of asthma attacks.
What you can do.
Learn more about asthma by exploring our resources.
Join us in your state to work to keep the air cleaner and fight climate change. Your efforts will help children breathe easier.