Monday, September 16, 2019

Latino Children Suffer Higher Rates of Asthma-Related Hospitalizations Triggered by Pollution

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According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, Gina McCarthy, carbon pollution and other toxic chemicals have contributed to the growing asthma crisis in the country that now affects 1 in 10 Latino children and 3.6 million Latinos. The chemicals from carbon pollution continue to disproportionately affect Latino children who are being hospitalized for asthma at alarmingly high rates.

In conjunction with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), McCarthy participated in a #LatinoHealth twitter conversation. Much of the conversation was devoted to the topic of asthma in the Latino community after recent figures found that Latinos are 30 percent more likely to be hospitalized for asthma related illnesses. Furthermore Latino children have a particularly higher risk of up to 40 percent of dying from asthma. In her recent blog post for the EPA, McCarthy underscored the importance of “tackling hazardous indoor and outdoor air pollution is critical to healthy communities, particularly for Latinos. 39% of Latinos live within 30 miles of a power plant and almost 1 in 2 Latinos in the U.S. live in counties with unhealthy levels of ozone pollution.”

This announcement comes on the heels of the historic plan the EPA unveiled this week to cut carbon emissions by 30 percent in order to advance President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. The EPA’s proposed standards are the strongest to date, and would specifically equip officials to tackle the disparities of asthma among Latinos head on through outreach and education. It would further ensure that Latinos come to the decision making tables of climate change and health policy given the disproportionality with which the community experiences the adverse effects of both.

Founder of Voces Verdes, Adrianna Quintero, said that “Here’s an important message for our political leaders, and it cuts across party lines: Latinos intensely support taking action on climate change and fighting air pollution.” Quintero continues, “Latinos in the U.S. recognize the threat that climate change poses to the well-being of our families and the future of our community in this country and abroad, and want our leaders to solve it.”

 Latin Post