Perhaps you’ve driven past one of Chicago’s coal-burning plants while traveling on the expressway. A reminder of Chicago’s industrial roots, these coal-burning plants are still in operation after over one-hundred years.

While the factories feed Chicago’s electrical supply, the Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization believes they exacerbate respiratory disease among Pilsen and Little Village residents.

Similarly, Sinai Urban Health Institute, says children in Lawndale are at a higher risk of getting asthma than north-side children.

Organizers of Sinai’s “Healthy Home, Healthy Child” initiative say household pests, mold and cleaning supplies are the culprits. Their recently launched educational program will make in-home visits to North Lawndale families – helping parents identify asthma triggers before respiratory problems start.

So as the numbers rise, what can we do to protect our families from respiratory disease? And how soon will asthma be a problem for all Chicago residents?

On this episode of Community, Media & You, we’ll hear more about Chicago’s asthma problem from Dorian Breuer of the Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization and Melissa Gutierrez from the Sinai Urban Health Institute.

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