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wdlove
Apr 13, 2004, 07:18 PM
Scientists are still struggling to understand the epidemic


By Stephen Smith, Globe Staff, 4/13/2004

There's no disputing that the United States is in the midst of an unparalleled asthma attack: A pair of federal reports recently announced that 16 million adults and 9 million children now suffer from the respiratory illness, wringing $13 billion from the nation's annual health-care bill.

It is the cause of all this misery that remains murky.

Maybe it's the way we seal ourselves into our newly built houses. Or maybe how obsessed we are with keeping ourselves free of germs and disease. Or maybe even that we now cure our children's fevers with Tylenol instead of aspirin. Or perhaps it's all of the above and more.

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/health_science/articles/2004/04/13/the_asthma_riddle/

Krizoitz
Apr 13, 2004, 08:08 PM
I agree...we have become so paranoid about getting the least bit dirty that we have forgotten that exposure to dirt can actually help the immune system.

I saw info once that shows that kids who grow up in rural areas, especially on farms, have dramatically less allergies than those raised in cities.

Sparky's
Apr 13, 2004, 08:17 PM
I wonder if most of them (the children) are near smog invested cities. I flew home to LA from Phoenix one day and I swear the brown sky started just before the plane reached the border and just got darker as we proceeded. My son still lives there (Burbank) and he has asthma. I had severe bronchitis until I moved to up-state NY. (I quit smoking 12 years ago also and I'm sure that helped)

Krizoitz
Apr 13, 2004, 08:32 PM
I wonder if most of them (the children) are near smog invested cities. I flew home to LA from Phoenix one day and I swear the brown sky started just before the plane reached the border and just got darker as we proceeded. My son still lives there (Burbank) and he has asthma. I had severe bronchitis until I moved to up-state NY. (I quit smoking 12 years ago also and I'm sure that helped)

The sad thing is LA has actually gotten better. The real bad cities are in Texas. Lack of environmental controls do interesting things...

Sparky's
Apr 13, 2004, 08:34 PM
I know, recent studies say that Phoenix and Las Vegas are 2 of the worst "New" cites that are in the top 10 most polluted cities.

zamyatin
Apr 13, 2004, 08:48 PM
I think increasing reliance on automobiles is likely the major cause. Car-dependent cities and suburbs have grown as a percentage of places where Americans live, and it continues to get worse.

The Federal Environmental Protection Agency measures air quality in hundreds of locations across the country each hour. I've been watching it for the past few months, and while Texas has some nasty results, LA consistently ranks as "Unhealthy," and by my count, is clearly the dirtiest place in the USA.

Check it out here:
http://www.epa.gov/cgi-bin/airnow.cgi?PollName=PM2.5&MapName=super&MapType=current_hour

If LA was worse in the past than it is today, I am damn glad not to have seen it. I don't remember even Beijing being so bad!

Krizoitz
Apr 13, 2004, 08:55 PM
I think increasing reliance on automobiles is likely the major cause. Car-dependent cities and suburbs have grown as a percentage of places where Americans live, and it continues to get worse.

Lets see, so alternative fuel cell cars would not only help us avoid costly oil wars but could improve the environment...wow why hasn't anyone thought of that...

wdlove
Apr 13, 2004, 09:53 PM
I think increasing reliance on automobiles is likely the major cause. Car-dependent cities and suburbs have grown as a percentage of places where Americans live, and it continues to get worse.

Check it out here:
http://www.epa.gov/cgi-bin/airnow.cgi?PollName=PM2.5&MapName=super&MapType=current_hour

If LA was worse in the past than it is today, I am damn glad not to have seen it. I don't remember even Beijing being so bad!

Just wait until June, July, and August will change dramatically. At least I'm sure that it will in the North East. We have a lot of moderate Air Quality.

MongoTheGeek
Apr 13, 2004, 11:10 PM
I think I may be becoming asthmatic but I know the cause.

There have been studies linking it to cockroaches. There is a good chance that it is caused by a continuous low grade exposure to one pathogen since owning pets tend to decrease incidence.

dxp4acu
Apr 14, 2004, 08:14 AM
Don't these ads from Google on the bottom of the page freak you out???? It's like they're watching us, and we are talking about asthma. Like if you are talking with someone in a restaurant about something then someone else comes up and says something else about it. Real freaky...

Anyways, I live in Texas and it has never seemed like the air quality is bad. I do have allergies, even more so in the last few years, but I never attributed it to bad air. I even live in Dallas now. I'll watch this thing more closely in the future! At least this morning looks good!

Z

kgarner
Apr 14, 2004, 11:07 AM
I agree...we have become so paranoid about getting the least bit dirty that we have forgotten that exposure to dirt can actually help the immune system.

I saw info once that shows that kids who grow up in rural areas, especially on farms, have dramatically less allergies than those raised in cities.

I would agree with this even though I grew up on a farm and suffered from asthma. Even though I had it, I was the only kid I knew that had it. I also saw some info once that said that kids in third world countries were less prone as well. I think mine was some sort of genetic disposition as both my brother and I had it and now my nephew has it and I think my son will probably get it too. Seems to run in the males in our family.

rainman::|:|
Apr 14, 2004, 07:15 PM
personally, i think the problem lies not in air pollution, the obvious red-herring, but in indoor chemical pollution-- Your carpets, even if they're years old, give off chemicals, the "fresh smell" of many household cleaning products is technically fumes. There are so many tiny chemical products leeched into the air (not to mention our food/water) that over time and constant exposure, i think really screw up the body's immune system.

There is much to be said for exposure therapy, in building up the body's own defenses. but i think in some cases, the immune system simply malfunctions because it wasn't meant to handle these things...

paul