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Asthma Awareness Month 2024

During May, which is Asthma Awareness Month, the American Lung Association focuses on raising awareness about the potential exacerbation of asthma symptoms due to climate change and extreme heat. The rise in temperatures, alongside increased humidity, contributes to stagnant air that traps pollutants, such as ozone and particulate matter. These pollutants are notorious for irritating the airways of individuals with asthma.

The heat not only worsens air quality but also increases the presence of allergens like pollen, and fosters conditions favorable for dust mites and mold—common triggers for asthma symptoms. This results in an increased risk of asthma attacks, characterized by wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.

To combat these effects, it’s beneficial to implement urban planning strategies that incorporate light-colored, reflective, and green surfaces. These modifications can significantly reduce heat in urban environments by reflecting more sunlight and providing shade, thereby creating cooler and more breathable spaces. These interventions are crucial for making communities more livable and safer for individuals with asthma and other respiratory conditions.

For more insights into how extreme heat affects urban areas and what can be done to mitigate these effects, it’s useful to watch educational resources such as the video “Extreme Heat in Cities.” This type of content can provide valuable information and practical tips for individuals and policymakers to better understand and address the interconnections between climate change, urban heat, and respiratory health.

 

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