SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A new report from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has found that Springfield has dropped from 1st to 12th place in their national rankings of the most challenging places to live with asthma.
According to the report, Springfield ties with Bridgeport, Hartford, and New Haven for having the second highest annual pollen scores in the country. Worcester was ranked 11th, Hartford 17th and Boston at 18th place on the list. High pollen can contribute to asthma related illnesses and the increased use of over the counter medicine use.
The report found that the Northeast Mid-Atlantic Asthma Belt has a cluster that extends from Massachusetts to North Carolina. Poverty, air pollution, and access to specialists are key risk factors for these cities. This is likely due to more industrial and urban populations. Asthma rates tend to be higher, especially among children, in urban locations.
Springfield Mayor Mayor Domenic J. Sarno sent a statement to 22News in response to the report. “This is welcomed news toward our continued efforts to knock down our asthma rates for our children and families, but there’s more work to do. I know firsthand with my youngest daughter Chiara’s bouts with asthma. Special thanks goes out to Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris and Parks, Buildings, and Facility Director Patrick Sullivan, who have done yeoman work in tackling this challenge. My administration has invested millions of dollars to improve the physical plant of our schools, city buildings, and public health outreach initiatives,” said Sarno.
You can read the full report here.