Sunday, January 29, 2012

Delilah Kelly: 1/29 (9:40p) Asthma Rate and Costs from Traffic Pollution Higher: Much Higher Than Past Traditional Risk Assessments Have Indicated

Asthma is a condition that can be triggered by various things within our environment. With rising costs for Asthma treatment and prevention this article elicits one of the aspects of air pollution that we all contribute to in some form or another. If we drive, carpool, or use public transportation we are actively participating in the rise of traffic-related asthma cases.

The rise has caught the attention of researchers. This particular study focuses on traffic-related asthma cases in Long Beach and Riverside, California. Both cities are communities within the state that have high reports of air pollution. After gathering data statistics show that the costs for traffic pollution triggered asthma is a step amount of 18 million annually, this accounts for half the amount of asthma cases caused by air pollution. This issue is responsible for a large range of health care costs ranging from missed work days to prescription costs. Depending on the city and its air pollution levels, these costs can change drastically. The largest cost effect due to the increase in asthma rates are school absences due to asthma related issues.

Despite the intention of the article I feel the researchers lacked some very vital information. Being that education is the key to prevention methods and advocacy I believe that the community should have been surveyed on their knowledge of air pollution and asthma prevention and treatment. One of my biggest interests would be to know the ways in which residents of the two cities would respond to the information found in the study involving air pollution rates and health care costs. It would also be important to inform the residents of the basic signs of asthma, due to the fact that many people have this condition but are unaware.

S. J. Brandt, L. Perez, N. Kunzli, F. Lurmann, R. McConnell. Costs of childhood asthma due to traffic-related pollution in two california communities. European Respiratory Journal, 2012; DOI: 10.1183/09031936.00157811


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