As a Puerto Rican, I know that many of our communities are still suffering from the devastation caused by Hurricane María on September 20, 2017.
Post-storm headlines highlighted increased mold and asthma spikes. But difficulties breathing in Puerto Rico are not new: the island can literally take your breath away.
Puerto Ricans are disproportionately affected with asthma: Adult asthma rates are 1.3 times higher than in the U.S., and Puerto Rican children are twice as likely to be afflicted as compared to U.S. children. Asthma, a complex disease influenced by both genetic and environmental factors, not only impacts individuals’ daily routines but also costs the U.S. economy more than $80 billion per year due to medical expenses, missed work or school, loss of productivity, and transportation expenses.
By: Lorraine N. Vélez-Torres – https://www.ehn.org/