• Asthma is a chronic (long-term) disease that causes inflammation and swelling of the airways. This results in narrowing of the large and small airways that carry air from the nose and mouth to the lungs.
  • Asthma symptoms include trouble breathing (shortness of breath), wheezing, coughing, and tightness or pain in the chest.
  • Asthma symptoms can be triggered by different things for different people. Allergens, like seasonal pollen, mold spores, dust, or pet dander, are common triggers. Some people also develop asthma symptoms in response to respiratory infections, airway irritants, pollution, weather changes, certain foods, or with exercise.
  • Asthma can be deadly if it is not recognized and managed appropriately.
  • There is no cure for asthma, but appropriate education and treatment prevents asthma attacks and can help you have a better quality of life.
  • Asthma is one of the most common and costly diseases in the United States. In the United States, more than 25 million people have asthma. Asthma is common among children and teens, and about 3 students in an average classroom of 30 have asthma.
  • The burden of asthma in the United States falls disproportionately on people with low-income, senior adults, and Black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native people. These groups have the highest asthma rates, deaths, and hospitalizations.

For more information on asthma, please check out the asthma fact sheet by National Institute of Health (in English and Spanish):


It is important to always carry your inhaler! Always keep it in your bag or pocket.

¡Es importante siempre tener su inhalador! Siempre manténgalo en su bolsa o bolsillo.

  1. It’s important to stay calm and try to control your breathing as much as possible. Panic can worsen the symptoms of an asthma attack. (Es importante mantener la calma y tratar de controlse la respiración. El pánico puede empeorar los síntomas de un ataque de asma.)
  2. Sit upright to help open your airways. (Siéntese erguido para abrir sus vías de aéreas)
  3. Use your inhaler immediately. Shake your inhaler, take a deep breath and then take one puff. Repeat this a second time. (Use su inhalador inmediatamente. Agite su inhalador, Respire hondo y tome una bocanada. Repita esto una segunda vez.)
  4. Find help: locate an adult or call 911 for immediate medical assistance. (Encuentre ayuda: Ubique a un adulto o llama 911 para atención médica inmediata.)
  5. Remember to stay calm, limit activity around things that trigger your asthma (allergies, smoke, strong odors), and always keep your inhaler nearby. (Recuerde mantener la calma, límite actividad cerca de cosas que causan su asma (alergias, humo, olores fuertes) y siempre mantenga su inhalador cerca de usted.)

WHY IS ASTHMA RELEVANT TO THE CITY OF CHESTER? (¿Por qué el asma es relevante para Chester?)

Asthma is a significant concern in Chester, largely due to the poor air quality we face. The Covanta incinerator, the #1 polluter in Delaware County often labeled as “trash-to-steam,” is a major contributor to this problem. It releases harmful pollutants into the air, making asthma worse for many people in the city.

El asma es una preocupación significativa en Chester, en gran parte por la mala calidad
del aire que sufrimos. El incinerador de Covanta, el contaminador más grande en Delaware
County que tiene el apodo “basura-a-vapor”, es un gran contribuidor al problema. Emite
sustancias contaminantes en el aire, empeorando el asma para muchos en la ciudad.

What’s especially troubling is how many kids here suffer from asthma. Children in Chester have asthma rates five times the national average. The rate of childhood asthma hospitalization is three times the rate for PA and two times that of the rest of Delaware County.

Es especialmente preocupante cuántos niños aquí sufren del asma. Los niños en Chester
tienen asma en una tasa cinco veces más del promedio nacional. La tasa de hospitalización como
joven gracias al asma es tres veces la tasa de Pennsylvania en total y dos veces el de Delaware

It’s not just about health; it’s also about environmental justice. People in Chester, especially those who are Black and Brown, bear the brunt of this pollution. It’s not right that we have to deal with worse air quality and higher asthma rates.

No es solo sobre la salud; también es sobre la justicia ambiental. La gente de Chester
sufre muchísimo de esta polución. No es justo que tengamos peor calidad de aire y tasas de asma
más altas.

That’s why we need to speak out and demand change. Companies like Covanta need to stop suffocating Chester and clear our their act. Our kids deserve to breathe clean air, and it’s up to us to make sure they get it.

Por esto, es necesario que denunciemos estas acciones problemáticas y demandemos
cambios. Corporaciones como Covanta necesitan poner fin a su asfixia de Chester y hacer un
cambio completo en sus prácticas. Nuestros niños merecen aire sin contaminación y es nuestra
responsabilidad obtenerlo.


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