EPA Spends $1.2 Million to Provide ‘Asthma-Friendly Homes’ Training

Elizabeth Harrington | October 16, 2012 | 1:44pm EDT
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EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. (AP)

(CNSNews.com) – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is spending $1.2 million in grants to provide “asthma-friendly homes” training and to “educate the primary adults in an asthmatic child’s life.”

The agency highlighted three grant recipients in press releases last week as part of a project announced earlier this year to provide 32 grants to state and local governments and non-profit organizations.  The funding is intended for demonstrations, training, education, and outreach activities to “reduce exposure to indoor air contaminants, primarily in homes and schools.”

“The goal of the program is to educate the primary adults in an asthmatic child’s life,” the EPA said.  “To accomplish this goal, adults will be educated on ways to provide an asthma-friendly home, school, children and medical care environments.”

Among those receiving grants last week, averaging $29,923 each, were: the American Lung Association in Dallas, Texas; the Saint Elizabeth Foundation in Lincoln, Nebraska; and the St. Louis County Health Department.

“EPA is proud to be working with our awardees across the nation to improve the air we breathe at school, work and home,” said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “American communities face serious health and environmental challenges from air pollution. This effort gives us an opportunity to improve indoor air quality by increasing awareness of environmental health risks.”

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has explained that asthma awareness is important to her because her son suffers from it.

“Across America we see low-income and minority children and families at a disproportionately higher risk for asthma and respiratory illnesses,” she said, when unveiling a federal report to “reduce racial and ethnic asthma disparities,” in May.

(AP Photo)

“As the mother of a child with asthma, I know what it means for our children to have clean and healthy air to breathe,” Jackson said.  “This Action Plan enables federal agencies and our partners to work more collaboratively and comprehensively on tackling a major health threat, so that we can protect all Americans, no matter what community they call home.”

The $1.2 million project will consist of “community-level education and outreach” and “creating awareness to reduce asthma triggers in the home” by encouraging “asthma management plans.”

Funding will also go towards increasing the number of homes tested for radon and to promote “positive indoor air quality management practices in schools.”

Many of the 32 grants went to universities, including four to the University of Tulsa.  Six grants went to American Lung Associations across the country, and four went to local county governments.

The EPA said indoor pollutants can cause health problems, including “sore eyes, burning in the nose and throat, headaches or fatigue.”

On the agency’s website it lists tools for “Managing Asthma in the School Environment,” which include cleaning up mold and moisture, controlling animal, cockroach and pest allergens, and reducing exposure to dust mites.

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