Study: Asthma rates higher in kids near West Eugene industrial area

Study: Asthma rates higher in kids near West Eugene industrial area »Play Video
Study area (from Beyond Toxics PowerPoint)

EUGENE, Ore. - A study found higher rates of asthma in children in West Eugene than in the city as a whole.

The research was conducted by Beyond Toxics, which started investigating air quality in West Eugene near industrial sites in 2010.

The study, partially funded by the EPA, found the highest rates of kids with athsma are those whose schools are closest to industrial sites.

"The asthma rate for children is approximately 14 percent in west Eugene compared to a little over 8 percent in other parts of Eugene," Lisa Arkin, executive director of Beyond Toxics.

That didn't surprise West Eugene resident Erica Templeman.

"I take care of a lot of children, and a lot of them have asthma," she said.

Jiana Doloarhide said her family is planning on moving to get cleaner air.

"We noticed as soon as we moved over here with the youngest one about the lack of air quality and what his lungs were producing," she said.

Arkin hopes the study will push West Eugene residents to take action for clean air.

"An important message here to be very aware of how our air quality is," she said, "and, as a community, we need to do everything we can to keep out air clean."