Vote For Health And Cut The Cost Of Asthma

Written by Laura Michelle Burns

In a few short weeks, Americans will be faced with the choice of voting for their next President. We’ll head to the voting booths and cast votes on policies, representation in Congress and maybe a school levy or two. I will leave the polls relieved that I won’t have to watch any more commercials from competing parties trash-talking each others financial plan.

Here in Ohio, our economy has already taken a huge hit. Residents don’t have the same jobs or the same insurance benefits as they did even just four years ago. And while those changes have been taking place, Ohio’s rate of asthma has remained a concern, as the rising cost of asthma has many parents counting their pennies.

A few facts from the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology:

  • From 2001 to 2009, health care visits for asthma per 100 persons with asthma declined in primary care settings, while asthma emergency department visit and hospitalization rates were stable.
  • For the period 2007–2009, black people had higher rates for asthma emergency department visits and hospitalizations per 100 persons with asthma than white persons, and a higher asthma death rate per 1,000 persons with asthma. Compared with adults, children had higher rates for asthma primary care and emergency department visits, similar hospitalization rates, and lower death rates.
  • An estimated 300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma, with 250,000 annual deaths attributed to the disease.

Ohio Asthma Stories

Tessa, a mom of two is fortunate enough to have a good insurance plan. This is especially beneficial considering her son had his first asthma attack this past winter when he was only seven months old. Between the ER visit, subsequent hospital stay and the medications and nebulizer purchase, it’s no wonder she watched closely air quality reports before deciding if her boys could outside this summer and play. Even with good insurance, she wound up paying over $500 for asthma treatments so far this year.

Ben is a father of 6. Three of his children suffer from asthma and so does Ben. In one month, when all of them were struggling with the complications from asthma, they paid over $2,000 for medications and ER co-pays.

Missed School Days = Missed Work

Asthma is the leading cause of missed school days and the 4th leading cause for work absenteeism. Over half of the adults who have asthma in the US are forced to take time off work because of their health. Asthma is a disease we all hope our children will outgrow.

Children with asthma miss school. Parents caring for children with asthma, miss work. Missing school often leads to children falling behind in their studies and poor self esteem. Annually, missed work accounts for $3 billion dollars lost in productivity. This is not a cost we should be willing to pay.

As parents, we work to make sure we can provide for our children, we budget our money, we work overtime as necessary. No matter how careful we are with our money and our children’s health, there are factors that are out of our control. These factors swirl in our environment: such as exhaust and sootIndustrial air pollution causes a greatest amount of poor air quality, and industrial air pollution is largely responsible for 11% of asthma cases worldwide. This is where we need to ask those who represent us in government, to step up and be responsible.

Vote For Healthy Air

Toxic air pollution impacts our health, the health of our families, and the health of our planet. As the Presidential As the debates continue, we want to hear what the presidential candidates will do about global warming’s impact on our health. In November, let’s cut the cost of asthma and vote for healthy air.


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Toxic Air Surrounds the Great Lakes

Air Pollution, Carbon Decreased Last Year


Photo credit: Moms Clean Air Force


Mary L.
Mary L5 years ago

Thank you.

John L.
Bonnie Lichak5 years ago

oops cut and paste is rest of comment w/info. for NESCAUM survey below

Wood smoke contains many dangerous chemicals and carcinogens. It is a trigger for asthmatics. It has fine particulte matter (PM 2.5) which gets deep in your lungs and causes serious heart and lung health problems. It has polycyclic hydrocarbons and VOCs.

It is time for EPA to regulate wood boilers and educate the public on the dangers of wood smoke and the prevalance of wood smoke.

You can help in this fight by adding your voice about how you have been impacted by residential wood smoke. This effort is being coordinated by NESCAUM (Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management: They will compile all the stories to show state and federal regulators the broad, nationwide scope of this problem. It is not limited to just stories about wood boilers, but includes all sources of residential wood smoke.

Please submit your stories online at:

Your name and information will be kept confidential! The survey is coordinated by NESCAUM but is funded by a private foundation, so it is not subject to Freedom of Information requests.

Please complete the online form by the end of November 2012 and please forward this information to others who could add their stories. Also please forward to any organizations that would be willing to post the link on their Web site or send to others.

This is a really im

John L.
Bonnie Lichak5 years ago

Thank you for the spreading of the word about our need to clean our air and the number of people now impacted by asthma. See below link for important survey by NESCAUM.

In NY (and beyond) we have been working to get State regulators to enforce and update residential air pollution regulations to close an EPA loophole but they have been very slow and inefficient in doing so. NYS air is increasingly negatively impacted by wood smoke as the price of oil has skyrocketed and people look for alternative heating sources. This problem is not unique however to NY but is impacting many mid-western and northeastern states as well. The new source of pollution that remains unregulated by EPA is from wood BOILERS.

Regulators can seemingly not react in a reasonable amount of time to protect public health. EPA has known of this issue since at least 1998 and yet has NOT done New Source Performance Standards to require wood boilers to meet the same emissions as their 1980s wood stove standards.

Many families have unwittingly bought highly polluting unregulated wood boilers. Their homes and their neighbors homes and yards are then engulfed in thick acrid smelling wood smoke because the design of these boilers squashes the oxygen supply and smolders the fire creating incomplete combustion.

Wood smoke has thus beomce a very serious and growing source of residential air pollution that neither State nor Federal regulators are adequately addressing.

Wood smoke contains many

Ajla C.
Past Member 5 years ago


Cheryl I.
Past Member 5 years ago


Winn Adams
Winn A5 years ago


Grace Adams
Grace Adams5 years ago

We could probably pay enough of the cost of polluters cleaning up the air after themselves to gain their co-operation and still save enough of health care to cover the cost of bribing the polluters to clean up their act.

Jennifer C.
Past Member 5 years ago


Kamryn M.
Kay M5 years ago


Michele Wilkinson

Thank you