As part of President Obama’s Climate Change Action Plan, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today issued a proposed rule designed to reduce the amount of carbon emissions from power plants 30% by 2030. High levels of air pollution are associated with making asthma symptoms worse. African Americans suffer disproportionately from asthma and other diseases and conditions worsened by carbon pollution. The rates of hospitalizations and deaths due to asthma are both 3 times higher among African Americans than among whites. Black children visited the emergency department for asthma at a rate 260% higher that white children, had a 250% higher hospitalization rate, and had a 500% higher death rate from asthma, than white children. Hopefully, when the EPA’s rule is finalized, the reduction of carbon emissions over time will reduce the disproportionate health burden suffered by African Americans from asthma.
–Janell Mayo Duncan
 “Children’s Environmental Health Disparities: Black and African American Children and Asthma,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, http://www.epa.gov/epahome/sciencenb/asthma/HD_AA_Asthma.pdf.
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Asthma prevalence, health care use and mortality: United States, 2003-05 and Heron MP, Hoyert DL, Murphy SL, Xu JQ, Kochanek KD, Tejada-Vera B. Deaths: Final Data for 2006. National vital statistics reports; vol 57 no 14. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2009.
 “Asthma and African-Americans,” http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/templates/content.aspx?lvl=3&lvlID=532&ID=6170.