Childhood Asthma Soars in Poor Communities of Color

A Dateline NBC investigation looks at how some parents are fighting one asthma exacerbator: poor housing.

By Carla Murphy Jan 03, 2014

For the parents of a child struggling daily to breathe, asthma is no small matter. And it turns out that where you live, as much as how, plays a huge role in bringing on and exacerbating the disease. A special Dateline NBC investigation set to air this Sunday looks at asthma in poor communities throughout the country–and how some parents are fighting back:

A Dateline analysis of a 2011 U.S. Census Bureau report found that public housing apartments like [Javier] Sepulveda’s had almost four times as many roach infestations and three times as many leaks as private rental apartments. Leaks, it turns out, can create mold, another allergen that can spark and exacerbate asthma. Though mold covers the ceiling and walls of Sepulveda’s bathroom–and most likely has exacerbated [his daughter’s] asthma–his landlord, the New York City Housing Authority, has been slow to make the necessary repairs that would get rid of it….