Mon, May 08, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Indoor air pollutants can pose a theat to asthmatics: HPA

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Dust mites are the most common cause of asthma in children, but secondhand smoke can also trigger asthma and other respiratory diseases, the Health Promotion Administration (HPA) said.

The agency cited a recent case of an eight-year-old girl who had always suffered from extended periods of coughing and wheezing when she had a cold and was diagnosed with asthma.

Her doctor discovered that the main cause of her asthma was long-term exposure to her father’s secondhand smoke.

The HPA said nearly 600 people in Taiwan die of asthma each year, and its 2013 National Health Interview Survey showed that about 70 percent of asthma patients were diagnosed with the disease when they were younger than 10.

The top five causes of asthma in children are dust mites (46.3 percent), rapid changes in temperature (37.7 percent), viral infections (36.8 percent), eating cold or frozen food (28.8 percent) and air pollution (24.2 percent).

The HPA cited a WHO report as saying that children who are exposed to long-term secondhand smoke have increased risk of asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, other respiratory diseases and middle ear infections.

HPA Director Wang Ying-wei (王英偉) urged the public to help prevent asthma by maintaining a healthy home environment.

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