HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) - Asthma is an inflammatory disorder of the airways that affects more than 130,000 children in Massachusetts.
The price to keep it under control costs more than just money. Asthma can be triggered by a number of reasons, including poor air quality. On Wednesday, families and organizations rallied in Holyoke to try and improve air quality in the area.
10% percent of children in Massachusetts are affected by this disorder, and it's much higher in Holyoke at 24%. The Sierra Club says that the Mount Tom Coal Plant is largely to blame. They want the EPA to change the Clean Air Act in the state, saying that if they can change the rules, air quality will change the quality of life for many families.
Virgenmina Perez has five family members with asthma, but she says it affects her as well. "Affecting you when you have to bring them to the emergency room, affecting when they cannot breathe, affecting when the kids can't sleep all night and you stay home with them because they are sick most of the time."
"Clean up what they're doing, and if they want to do business go ahead, but clean up what you're doing, stop polluting the people stop putting toxic pollution out into the air and stop making the people of Holyoke sick," said Drew Grande of the Sierra Club.
Grande says 20 percent of energy in the state comes from coal. He says if they are cleaner, we can all breathe easier.