Through a series of training and awareness programs, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is embarking on a $1.2-million expedition to offer “asthma-friendly homes” training and outreach programs to curb exposure to indoor contaminants. Focusing primarily on homes and schools, the EPA announced earlier this year 32 assistance agreements to state and local governments and non-profit groups for the air pollution-abatement project.
“The goal of the program is to educate the primary adults in an asthmatic child’s life,” the agency said in a press release. “To accomplish this goal, adults will be educated on ways to provide an asthma-friendly home, school, children and medical care environments.” The projects intend to improve indoor air quality through the following objectives:
• Increasing effective indoor air quality practices through community-level education and outreach
• Promoting positive indoor air quality management practices in schools by working with school districts and teachers
• Increasing the number of homes tested for radon, homes built with radon-resistant features, and existing homes mitigated for radon
• Creating awareness to reduce asthma triggers in the home and encourage the use of asthma management plans through community-based asthma programs
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has been a chief proponent of so-called “asthma awareness,” asserting that it’s one of her foremost goals because her son suffers from the disease. “Across America we see low-income and minority children and families at a disproportionately higher risk for asthma and respiratory illnesses,” Ms. Jackson said, when announcing a federal report to “reduce racial and ethnic asthma disparities” in May.
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Photo: The administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa P. Jackson, speaks during an event in Philadelphia on April 10, 2012: AP Images