• Publication Date: 06/01/2020
  • Article Type: Back Page
  • Subjects: Respiratory Medicine
Researchers used digital inhaler sensors to study frequency of asthma rescue medication usage and emergency room visits following changes in emissions from coal-fired power plants in Louisville, Kentucky.

The “AIR Louisville” collaboration involved approximately 1,200 residents and equipped their inhalers with digital sensors. When one coal-fired power plant retired coal as an energy source and three additional plants installed stricter sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission controls, researchers had the opportunity to analyze the impact of the coal-fired power plant energy transitions on residents’ respiratory health. The study was unique in its ability to measure asthma morbidity based on both hospitalizations and daily symptoms, and to leverage an abrupt change in environmental exposure.

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