Hearing focuses on environmental factors to health, illness

April 29, 2010

With 12 million missed or less-productive workdays attributed to asthma each year, the Energy and Commerce Committee's Health Subcommittee on April 22 heard testimony on efforts to curb air pollution that can exacerbate the respiratory disease.

Asthma is the fourth leading cause of work absenteeism and diminished productivity, according to Henry Falk, acting director of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and the National Center for Environmental Health. To prevent and reduce illnesses related to the environmental risk factors of asthma, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Asthma Control Program funds activities in several states that support programs and interventions.

The subcommittee also heard testimony on what federal agencies are doing to protect the public from environmental-related hazards and diseases.