The answer is a resounding YES!!!
I am watching a special that was on Dateline, called "in plain sight: poverty in america"
The footage shows a reporter in New York City. He turns one way and looks over his shoulder at the affluent Upper East Side where asthma rates for children are about the same as the national average- around 7%. He looks over his shoulder to the other direction at the impoverished East Harlem, where asthma rates are 19%. Two neighborhoods close together, but miles apart in how people live.
How can the rates be so different? The housing conditions in some of the poorer areas are horrible. It's sometimes hard for me to watch the story on TV. Leaking pipes that have landlords won't fix leads to massive amounts of mold. Mold is a known to cause (or trigger) asthma attacks.
Cockroaches were also mentioned in the story. The problem with apartment complexes is that even if you try VERY hard to keep your kitchen clean, your neighbors might not be so clean. Their messy habits can lead to cockroaches, which will happily come visit your apartment too.
The story says that in the wealthier areas, the landlords will make quickly make repairs . (They certainly don't want their rich tenants to move somewhere else!!) But in the poorer areas, the landlords may not fix the water leaks, which will lead to mold.
The story shows rows of children in the emergency room, getting breathing treatments on the nebulizer, like the little guy in the photo above.
There's more to the story, watch it for yourself and tell me what you think.
The reporter said it was clear that it was a case of the "haves" and the "have nots." The wealthy have clean, well cared for apartments and low asthma rates. The poorer have horrible living conditions and higher rates of asthma.
It was soooo sad to watch the kids in the story struggling to breathe, it brings back memories of when my children were younger and would end up in the hospital because they had pneumonia (again!)
I'm thankful for my own home, that I can keep clean. And for a Hubby that knows how to fix things (properly!!!) when they leak. I wish the people in the story could have a better apartment to raise their children in. No one should have to live like that :(