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   Global Warming & Polution = Asthma; Experts Warn of Inner-City Youth Epidemic


Global Warming & Polution = Asthma; Experts Warn of Inner-City Youth Epidemic

Poor and minority inner-city children will face a worsening "epidemic" of asthma linked to global warming and air pollution unless steps are taken to reduce fossil fuel burned by cars, trucks and buses, according to a warning from Harvard experts and the American Public Health Association.

At a conference at 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 29 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, Dr. Paul R. Epstein, associate director, Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard Medical School; Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director, American Public Health Association; Christine Rogers, Ph.D., senior research scientist, Harvard School of Public Health; and Frank Smith, senior fellow, Civil Society Institute, presented the facts of their case.

According to the participants, as outlined in an advisory to the media, asthma rates in the US have "mushroomed out of control," nearly tripling in the last two decades, resulting in particularly severe problems for urban youths. The culprits include climate change and increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (due largely to fossil fuel combustion) that are prompting the above-normal growth levels for molds and the production of ragweed pollen. The outlook, they say, is that an even greater percentage of U.S. children likely will end up with asthma, particularly in urban areas, unless steps are taken to mitigate the ill effects of global warming and to reduce fossil fuel dependence through a transition to clean energy use.

A one-way phone feed from the news event will be available at 10 a.m. EDT on April 29, 2004 at 1 (800) 860-2442. Ask for the "global warming & childhood asthma" call. A streaming audio recording of the news event will be available on the Web as of 3 p.m. EDT on April 29, 2004 at

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This story was published on April 27, 2004.
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