Air Quality and Asthma

April 30, 2019

Boston Children’s Health Physician pediatric pulmonologist Allen Dozor, MD was interviewed recently on the subject of air quality and asthma in Westchester County.

In their annual “State of the Air” report, the American Lung Association said Westchester is again one of several counties in New York with failing ozone pollution levels. Poor air quality can make asthma symptoms worse and trigger attacks. Dr. Dozor said 20,000 children in Westchester alone suffer from asthma and it’s the number one reason for children to be in the emergency room.

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Video Transcript

Newsreporter: Alex Vega Jr. suffers from wheezing and tightness in his chest. The nine year old is being treated for asthma at Boston Children's Health Physicians in Hawthorne. According to Doctor Alan Dozor, Alex is one of 20,000 children in Westchester alone suffering from asthma. 

Dr. Alan Dozor: [Asthma is|the number one reason for children to be in the emergency room, the number one reason for children to be hospitalized, the number one reason for children to miss school. 

Newsreporter: The American Lung Association agrees; in its annual State of Air Quality Report, Westchester is one of several counties in New York with failing ozone pollution levels. The latest ranks are pulled from data collected from 2015 to 2017. ALA encourages the public to support the 'Clean Air Act', a federal law designed to control air pollution.

Elizabeth Hamlin, Director of Advocacy in NY, MA, VT, American Lung Association: The 'Clean Air Act 'is always under some kind of threat, and so what we can do is keep an eye on that, making sure that the standards of the 'Clean Air Act' are preserved. And that it remains in place, funded, and enforced.

Newsreporter: Why is the air quality so poor in this region? Doctors say there are several contributors, including increased car and truck traffic, smoke exposure, and climate change. 

Dr. Alan Dozor: We see children every day gasping for breathe. That's the direct effect of climate change, and we need to do everything we can do reduce it.

Newsreporter: Alex says a cleaner environment will help him get back to some of his favorite activities. 

Alex Caruso Jr: I really want to try out basketball.