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EPA and Ad Council Launch New Public Service Announcements to Prevent Asthma Attacks

Release Date: 09/17/2013
Contact Information: Dale Kemery (News media only) kemery.dale@epa.gov 202-564-7839 202-564-4355 EN ESPAÑOL: Lina Younes younes.lina@epa.gov 202-564-9924 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has partnered with the Ad Council in a national campaign to educate parents and children with asthma about simple steps they can take to prevent asthma attacks.

Although asthma is widespread, affecting nearly 26 million Americans of all ages and races, public awareness of common asthma triggers and effective asthma management strategies remains limited. Approximately seven million children in the United States have asthma, with poor and minority children suffering a greater burden of the disease. Through this campaign, EPA and the Ad Council will raise awareness and educate families on what they can do to help reduce asthma attacks.

Through a series of public service announcements (PSAs) featuring a band of puppet characters called “The Breathe Easies,” this campaign uses online videos, radio PSAs and Web banners featuring songs about asthma triggers. The songs were written and recorded by YouTube star and singer-songwriter Parry Gripp. “The Breathe Easies” – the world’s first asthma-centric rock band –delivers messages about environmental triggers in a trio of songs. Viewers and listeners are informed about ways to prevent asthma attacks such as cleaning up mold, not smoking in the house and vacuuming the floor. By knowing their triggers, people can take simple steps to avoid them, which can greatly improve their asthma management.

“Too many Americans, particularly children, minorities and people living in poverty suffer from asthma, spending their time at doctor visits and hospitals instead of at school, work and play,” said Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. By working together with the Ad Council and other partners in communities across the country, we can make a real difference in the lives of millions of Americans dealing with asthma.”

“This campaign is a wonderful and entertaining continuation of our efforts with EPA to reduce asthma attacks in children,” said Peggy Conlon, President and CEO of the Ad Council. “The brilliant collaboration between Barbarian, Buck and Parry Gripp yielded a unique and lovable campaign that will appeal to both parents and children and, ultimately, help eliminate more asthma triggers in the home.”

The new radio and web PSAs, available in both English and Spanish, will be made available to media outlets nationwide. The PSAs are an extension of the EPA and Ad Council Childhood Asthma Campaign first launched in 2001. Since the campaign’s inception, the percentage of parents who feel they can make “a lot of difference” in preventing asthma attacks has risen from 49 percent to 67 percent, according to the Ad Council’s tracking system.

For more tips about preventing asthma attacks, visit the campaign website www.noattacks.org.

To learn more about asthma and environmental triggers, visit www.epa.gov/asthma.