Welcome to the latest episode of the “Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Innovations” podcast. In this episode, we examine the relationship between climate change, poor air quality and respiratory health. We delve into who is most affected. And we reveal actionable steps to protect lung health in the face of environmental changes.

Thank you to Chiesi for sponsoring this podcast episode.

You can listen to or download the podcast on ITCHPODCAST.com for listening anytime, anywhere. The podcast can also be downloaded at:

Co-hosts Kortney Kwong Hing and Payel Gupta, MD, are joined by Stephanie Lovinsky-Desir, MD. Dr. Stephanie Lovinsky-Desir is Associate Professor of Pediatrics in Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. She specializes in childhood asthma in urban communities.

The Link Between Poor Air Quality and Asthma

Did you know that more than 262 million people worldwide, including 25+ million in the United States, have asthma? This means about 1 in 13 people globally and 1 in 12 people in the U.S. have asthma. Air pollution can make asthma worse for many people with asthma.

Dr. Lovinsky-Desir explains how climate change makes asthma harder to manage, especially for groups that have been economically or socially marginalized. She sheds light on the various environmental factors contributing to breathing problems. These include rising temperatures, forest fires and air pollution.

Dr. Lovinsky-Desir and Dr. Gupta discuss the groups most affected by environmental changes. They focus on challenges of poor housing conditions. Lack of air conditioning or heating during extreme weather episodes can worsen health problems.

Coping with Poor Air Quality and Asthma

The weather is becoming more unpredictable due to climate change. It’s important to take steps to protect your lungs. Dr. Lovinsky-Desir shares practical tips for dealing with poor air quality. Here tips include wearing masks during times of high pollution and keeping track of air quality reports. Dr. Gupta gives advice on how to reduce allergens in your home. She also discusses what organizations can improve housing conditions for overall health.

Podcast Timestamps

  • 00:10 Intro to Dr. Lovinsky-Desir
  • 01:28 The relationship between air pollution, air quality and climate change
  • 03:06 Season allergies becoming perennial
  • 03:57 How does air quality impact lung health
  • 06:10 The populations are most impacted by poor air quality
  • 09:56 How heat impacts air quality – “heat islands”
  • 11:10 Poor housing and its impact on lung health
  • 14:50 Allergic Rhinitis
  • 15:16 Programs and resources help make housing healthier
  • 17:45 How to start to improve your environment for asthma
  • 20:10 Masks to help with poor air quality
  • 21:25 State of the Air Report
  • 23:10 What you can do to keep your lungs safe
  • 24:10 How to explain to someone why they should care about climate change and asthma

Additional Resources