Elizabeth Roth - Childhood Asthma in Bethlehem

Elizabeth Roth
Department of Political Science
Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition affecting 1 in 13 children nationally, yet almost 1 in 4 children in the Bethlehem Area School District. This disparity between national and local asthma rates is likely linked to Northampton County’s dismal air quality, as the county is out of compliance with current standards set by the EPA for both ground-level ozone and fine particulate matter. Generated primarily from vehicular emissions, these two pollutants irritate and damage the lungs, functioning as both a trigger and a cause of asthma. This project seeks to better understand the local effects of air pollution on children with asthma, as well as utilize digital mapping to identify a convergence of economic, social, and environmental variables contributing to the city’s high asthma rates.