VIDEO: Testing and teaching—How in-school screenings can help kids catch their breath

EHN sat in on the monthly asthma clinic at Clairton Elementary School

Editor's note: This story is part of "Breathless," EHN's in-depth look at asthma in Pittsburgh and what can be done to help children breathe easier.


On a hot Monday morning in May, EHN sat in on the monthly asthma clinic at Clairton Elementary School as children came into the nurse's office one to have their lung function tested.

Local pediatrician Dr. Deborah Gentile launched the program in partnership with Duquesne University after conducting a research study that revealed 18.4 percent of the children at Clairton Elementary have asthma—more than double the national average.

Clairton is home to US Steel's Clairton Coke Works plant, the largest facility in the country for converting coal into coke, a material used in steel manufacturing. The plant is one of the top three polluters in the region, and had at least 6,700 air pollution violations over a three-year span between 2012 and 2015, according to an Allegheny County Health Department report.

Gentile's asthma clinic program, dubbed CARES (Caring for Asthma in our Region's Schoolchildren), has enrolled 41 patients, ages 6-12, from six local elementary schools for ongoing care through regular in-school asthma clinics. Gentile hopes to ultimately see the program expanded to every school in the county, then the state.

*CARES and EHN receive support from the Heinz Endowments.

Related coverage: Can mandatory asthma screenings solve Pittsburgh's asthma epidemic?

Print Friendly and PDF
SUBSCRIBE TO EHN'S MUST-READ DAILY NEWSLETTER: ABOVE THE FOLD
From our Newsroom

Earth Day: Amidst the greenwashing, it's still a good thing

When corporations tout their greenness and journalists get beaten senseless by lame ideas.

‘Forever chemicals’ coat the outer layers of biodegradable straws

More evidence that harmful PFAS chemicals are sneaking into some "green" and "compostable" products.

Pesticide DDT linked to increased breast cancer risk generations after exposure

Groundbreaking study finds women whose grandmothers had high DDT exposure are more likely to be obese and have early menstruation—both breast cancer risk factors.

Want more clean energy? Focus on people, not technology

Energy decisions can be deeply personal. We need to listen to households and communities before we prescribe their energy transition.

Fractured: The body burden of living near fracking

EHN.org scientific investigation finds western Pennsylvania families near fracking are exposed to harmful chemicals, and regulations fail to protect communities' mental, physical, and social health.

The political, media, and community response to our Fractured investigation

From a media blitz to calls for statewide drilling bans, here's a look at the fallout and impacts so far from EHN's investigation of western Pennsylvania fracking impacts.

Above The Fold

Daily & Weekly newsletters all free.