CHOP, Penn Med collaborate on kids’ environmental health

Researchers are concerned about asbestos in Philadelphia schools, as well, and they will work on a program that helps parents understand the risks of asbestos in their children’s schools.

Air pollution will be a top priority for the center because CEET has found that the Philadelphia-Reading-Camden area is among the 25 worst in the United States.

Building on Children’s Hospital’s Community Asthma Prevention Program, or CAPP, which has supported families of children with asthma in Philadelphia for more than 20 years, the center will expand the initiative to the city of Chester, providing education and resources to help families there mitigate asthma triggers in the home.

“There’s nothing like CAPP in Chester to address asthma. We do know that areas that have low income, that are occupied by minoritized populations, that those areas tend to have problems from redlining, which impacts the housing stock,” said Dr. Tyra Bryant-Stephens, who leads CAPP.

“One out of four children in North Philly have asthma, and asthma can be triggered by indoor environmental exposures, and that includes dust, includes dander from roaches and mice, includes mold, tobacco smoke exposure, as well as volatile organic compounds, which can come from carpet, floors, cleaners,” she added.

“Our patients at CHOP, we see every day children with asthma who are exposed even at home and at school to these triggers. When they are chronically exposed to these triggers, that causes inflammation in their airways, and their airways get swollen, they have more mucus production, they become reactive to other triggers, such as viruses, so when they get colds, because of this underlying inflammation, they tend to have asthma attacks or asthma flares.”

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