Benchmark-Policy Brief

Benchmark-Policy Brief

Grand Canyon University: NRS-427VN

Benchmark-Policy Brief

The average life expectancy in the United States has increased and is approximately 78 years old despite living with chronic diseases such as asthma. Smog and air pollution has become a problem in the Bronx, New York population. Addressing the environmental issue on air pollution in the Bronx will decrease exacerbation’s, hospitalizations and possible deaths due to triggers that aggravate asthma. Improving policies in place to facilitate in less air pollution is prudent for those living with chronic lung diseases such as Asthma.

Asthma in the Bronx

“With asthma, the airways in your lungs are often swollen or inflamed. This makes them extra sensitive to things that you are exposed to in the environment every day, or asthma triggers” (“What Is Asthma?,” n.d.).The triggers can exacerbate some one with asthma and cause a person to wheeze, cough or have shortness of breath. These triggers can include chemicals, cold weather, the environment or dust. Asthma is a prevalent problem for the Bronx, New York population. To understand why asthma exacerbations, happen in higher rates in the Bronx, NY the location plays a major role. The south Bronx is located between two major highways creating high air pollution and is often called “island of pollution”. Many studies have included that “the concentration of industrial facilities in the area coupled with the heavy car and truck traffic exposes residents of the South Bronx to more air pollutants than other New Yorkers. Industrial areas were linked to higher asthma rates and severe asthma requiring hospitalization was more likely to occur in low-income neighborhoods. This study also shows that soot from exhaust of diesel vehicles also contributes at a high rate to asthma; thus living next to highways was also an environmental contributor” (“Promoting and protecting the cities health,” n.d.). The department of health in New York has recognized “rates of asthma among children are especially high in the Bronx and Manhattan, where 8.1% and 7.4%, respectively, of children suffer from the illness. In addition, rates of asthma are highest among Latino (9.8%) and Black (6.9%) children in New York City” (“Promoting and protecting the cities health,” n.d.). Although, asthma occurs worldwide the current rates due to the smog has affected residents in local and state level. “Asthma hospitalization rate for Bronx children is 70 percent higher than the rest of the city and 700 percent higher than the rest of New York State (excluding New York City). Additionally, there is a higher rate of death, nearly double than that of the rest of the city at 6 per 100,000 cases, in the Bronx” (“Promoting and protecting the cities health,” n.d.). Major highways run through, around the Bronx, meaning it is inevitable that schools will be near soot and other air pollutions.

Changing Policy

With high rates of the population living with asthma, management and prevention strategies are needed, as well as policy proposals. Health care providers should should educate their patients on ways to improve indoor air quality. Nurses should encourage a smoke free environment around children because tobacco smoke exposure can cause acute asthma exacerbation’s. New York state has recognized tobacco smoke as problem there is law prohibiting indoor smoking which include bars and restaurants.

To improve outdoor air quality, the help of residents and state officials are needed. Current policy set forth by the department of motor vehicles in New York has places emissions inspections for cars and light trucks. “The 1990 Federal Clean Air Act requires New York State to conduct an inspection program to help reduce harmful emissions from most passenger cars and light-duty trucks. The emissions inspection is done at the same time as the annual safety inspection. Vehicles that fail the emissions inspection may not be able to become registered or, if already registered, the registration may not be renewed” (“New York State Vehicle Safety/Emissions Inspection Program,” 2018).

Prohibiting buses from idling is a non-costly strategy that can be implemented by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York. New York state has implemented school bus to use ultra low sulfur fuels which is a step in the right direction. Educating communities how implementing this strategy can provide better quality of life, decrease hospitalizations because of triggers. Encouraging and proposing a policy for car pooling to communities going to same location can decrease air pollution. Mandating asthma management for those living with chronic disease should be implemented to their health care plan. Educating teachers on asthma emergencies and what to do and what needs to be done.

Implementing policies such as teaching and educating professionals working with children will require the state and department of education to be involved. To create policy and advocate for changes research and data needs to be properly analyzed. In this case the communities affected by smog and other air pollutes triggering asthma. Residents directly affected need to voice their concerns to lawmakers who can make proper changes. There is power in numbers, voicing and educating the Bronx population can help create those numbers.






Butini, C. (2018, January 20). Asthma By The Numbers. Retrieved from

Chronic Disease. (n.d.). Retrieved from

New York State Vehicle Safety/Emissions Inspection Program. (2018, October 5). Retrieved from

Promoting and protecting the cities health. (n.d.). Retrieved from

What Is Asthma? (n.d.). Retrieved from