May is Asthma Awareness Month

May 6, 2010

In recognition of Asthma Awareness Month, the Environmental Protection Agency is launching a program in 1,000 communities to deliver quality care for the respiratory disease that affects 23 million people in the United States.

"Asthma is a public health issue, an economic issue and an environmental issue that touches entire communities," said Gina McCarthy, EPA's assistant administrator for Air and Radiation. "EPA is joining with health care providers to reach communities across the nation to help deliver real solutions to the millions of Americans who battle asthma."

EPA recommends the following steps to prevent exposure to asthma triggers:

  • If you must smoke, do so outside rather than in the home or car.
  • Check the Air Quality Index in your local weather report. When the AQI is at an unhealthy level, restrict outdoor activities.
  • Cover pillows and mattresses with allergen-proof covers, and wash sheets and blankets once a week in hot water.
  • Keep pets out of the bedroom and off furniture.
  • Wash and dry hard surfaces to prevent and remove mold, and replace any moldy ceiling tiles or carpet.