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Asthma Prevention and Control

Asthma in the urban environment is a serious problem, and it remains a primary cause of preventable hospitalization in children nationally. In response to residents’ concern about rising asthma rates in their communities, the Boston Public Health Commission created the Asthma Prevention and Control Program in 1998. The program operate​s a number of initiatives to help children and adults manage the symptoms of and the environmental contributors to asthma, including home-based programs, as well as trainings for healthcare providers, childcare providers, the community, and others.​.  

What is asthma?

Asthma is a health condition that makes it difficult to breathe.  When people with asthma experience symptoms, their airways become swollen, narrow, and produce extra mucus, making it harder for air to get to the lungs. This can cause coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath.  While everyone's asthma is different, people with asthma generally benefit from:

  • Avoiding, eliminating, and managing  triggers - things that make asthma worse
    (or make it hard to breathe)
  • Taking medications as instructed, including:
    • ​Daily or controller medication(s)
    • Emergency, rescue or quick relief medication(s)

Triggers in the home

Asthma triggers include anything that makes asthma worse.  Some of the  most common asthma triggers indoors include mold, dust mites, cleaning products, second hand smoke, cockroaches, mice, and pets, like cats and dogs – all of which release particles into the air that can irritate the airways and lungs.  

A healthy home is good medicine

While many people know outdoor air pollution is bad for asthma, indoor air quality is also important for people with asthma, especially in the home, which is where people usually spend a good amount of their day.  This is especially true for children, the elderly, and those with chronic health conditions.  The good news is that using asthma-friendly practices in the home to eliminate and reduce these triggers can go a long way to help control asthma.


FREE services for Boston residents             

​​The City of Boston has two FREE award-win​ning programs to help Boston residents make their homes asthma-friendly to help get asthma under control.  ​                                                           

​Which program is best for you?  ​You may benefit from one or both program​s.​​

For more information, download our postcard:

Boston Public Health Commission
1010 Massachusetts Ave, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02118.
Phone:(617) 534-5395 Email: