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Constantinides introduces legislation to combat Asthma, a big concern in western Queens given power plant emissions


Sept. 29, 2017 By Tara Law

Two bills were introduced in the City Council this week by Councilman Costa Costantinides that aim to combat asthma, an issue of particular concern for many western Queens residents given the high number of pollution-emitting power plants in the area.

One bill would require schools to have nebulizers on hand with nurses trained to use them. The other bill would require the Department of Health to conduct an annual report on the prevalence of asthma and asthma-related hospitalizations, aggregated by demography, including age, race and geography.

Constantinides, citing Department of Health data, said that 80,000 New York City children have asthma, and 7,000 children are hospitalized for the illness annually.

Children with severe asthma can miss up to 30 days of school, according to Health Dept data. However, Constantinides said that number would be lower if children could get asthma treatment at school instead of having to go home or to hospital.

“Equipping public schools with appropriate medical devices including nebulizers will give kids in distress from asthma the critical treatment that they need,” said Constantinides. “Data and knowledge about the prevalence of asthma will help families be aware of asthma risk so children can get screened early if necessary.”

Many residents in western Queens are particularly vulnerable to asthma since 50 percent of the city’s power is produced in the area.

Health Dept. research indicates that there is a higher rate of hospitalization for respiratory illnesses, include asthma, among communities near large pollutions sources such as power plants.

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Give some REAL help too

A nebulizer in schools is a good idea but how about air conditioning schools when the actual heat and humidity in the building is what causes them to have these attacks in schools. I’ll never understand why schools don’t deserve to have air conditioning when he’s sitting in his air conditioned office. Some classrooms have been 107 degrees on certain days. Of course they’ll have an asthma attack. They can’t breathe!! Take care of our kids in every way. Not just let’s give them medicine. How about you try to prevent the attacks from happening too? Our school has asked him for help with this issue frequently with the high number of asthma attacks in schools across Astoria. Falls on deaf ears.


How about better air conditioning in NYC Public Schools especially PS 84 and other schools that don’t have any. People with athsma need to be in cooler places which includes school children.

Not from my wallet

I wouldn’t give a dollar. We do enough for the Puerto Rican people and their country. How many Puerto Rican people live here? let them pay for their country ! I would bet most of them don’t give to their own country but I’m supposed to? Damn ,not from my wallet


I am glad the City Council is taking on this issue. We need all the media attention we can get so people can be aware about this danger especially parents of young children and the elderly.


google chemtrails …… google haarp ……. this is what you really should be protesting ……..


It’s a good step. I would also like to see the street level pollution addressed. I live near Mt. Sinai hospital on 30th Avenue, and since the ambulance entrance was moved mid-block (who approved that bad idea?), there has been so many problems.

There are sometimes so many vehicles just idling on the ramp, or on the street, I have started coughing by just walking by. That cannot be good for kids walking by on their way home from school (there are two elementary schools within a block).

The vehicles, which range from medical vehicles of various types to vendors trucks, should not be idling. I have walked past and returned 1/2 later and the same vehicle is idling. Awful for the neighbors too. Mt. Sinai (and other businesses with idling vehicles) should be enforcing the city’s rules about this, and particularly a hospital should be conscious about this — Mt. Sinai’s officials are apparently not.


What is depicted is not a bong, it is a nebulizer. A life saving devise. Glad to know they will be available in schools for our children. We have a high rate of children with asthma in our school. Children suffer especially during hot weather. It is difficult to stand by waiting for an ambulance while they can not breathe. Power plants are not the only cause of air pollution in our area. Planes taking off from and landing at La Guardia airport add a considerable amount of air pollution. Look into what is being “dumped” into the air we breathe. One can see the fuel stream behind the planes. VERY SCARY ! Planes come over my school every thirty nine seconds. Thing is, power plants do not pay rent to the city. La Guardia pays rent to the city for the land it occupies. The City Council does not want to lose this money. We have been complaining about plane traffic causing , noise pollution and air pollution for years to the City Council. Very little has been done.


Very true! And the councilman taking up this matter has bought attention to this problem in Astoria. Many new and potential residents are very concerned about this issue and are choosing to live elsewhere.


All the vehicle traffic from LGA, bridges, and highways are also adding to the problem. Astoria streets are packed with cars and delivery trucks.


Laguardia Airport is being redeveloped. The new facilities will begin to open in 2018, and are expected to be fully completed by 2022. There is even talk about a LGA terminal once Rikers closes.


While I don’t have much sympathy for people who buy homes or rent near pre-existing power plants and flight paths I do have sympathy for children who have flight paths go over their homes and who live and breathe near the power plants. Children and the elderly are the most vulnerable in Astoria.


Yes Astoria, especially Ditmars sucks being so close to Con Ed, sewer plants and airport (which is expanding).


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