Indoor Pollution Causes Rise in Asthma Cases

Manila Bulletin, August 25, 2004 | Go to article overview

Indoor Pollution Causes Rise in Asthma Cases


Does it seem like your asthma, or a family members asthma, is giving you more and more problems? If so, it is not just your imagination, its a reality. It is no coincidence that asthma cases have increased by a large percentage over the decade.

The fact is, worsening asthma cases have coincided with the emergence of the indoor air quality epidemic caused by airborne pollutants. A statement from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has warned that indoor air quality is fast becoming the worlds number one environmental health problem, anywhere from two to 10 times worse than outdoor air pollution.

In the Philippines, asthma affects over six million children. The Philippines is ranked 32nd in "self-reported asthma." The country has a prevalence rate of about 12 percent.

A nationwide study conducted by the University of Santo Tomas showed that about 12.4 percent of children aged 14-15 years old are afflicted with asthma. Over all, one out of 10 Filipinos has asthma, based on a Philippine General Hospital survey.

How do we know that indoor air quality is the main culprit?

First, consider that during the last 20 years, the medical field has improved asthma medication (although many still cause a variety of undesirable side effects) and our understanding of asthma tremendously.

Secondly, we know that genetics is not the cause of the recent alarming growth in asthma difficulties, since 20-plus years is nowhere near long enough for such a dramatic genetical effect to take place.

In which case, this leaves us with the conclusion that the cause is environmental. …

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Indoor Pollution Causes Rise in Asthma Cases
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