This report reviews new information on the prevalence and costs of asthma in the United States. This report relies on national and state level of asthma prevalence and cost data from peer-reviewed science journals, the American Lung Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An estimated 7 million children and 17 million adults in the United States have asthma. Science has established that air pollution from cars, factories, and power plants is among the major causes of asthma episodes. Air pollutants that can contribute to asthma include ground-level ozone smog, sulfur dioxide, particle pollution, and nitrogen oxides. Carbon pollution can also worsen asthma in several ways, such as by driving climate change and by increasing production of airborne allergens like ragweed pollen. Legislation that would greatly reduce the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce these air pollutants under the Clean Air Act would prevent improvements in air quality – stopping reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide, fine particles, soot, and other pollutants – and would make it harder for children and adults with respiratory problems such as asthma to breathe.
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