GET US OFF THE TOP OF COUNTRY’S ASTHMA DEATH LIST Your zip code should not determine the quality of your health. Whether you live on Beacon Hill or in Chinatown, it should not be a privilege to breathe clean air. But that’s not the case for many Massachusetts residents who need an inhaler to ease asthma symptoms because of the poor air quality. We live in an asthma hot zone that’s getting crueler every year. Long before the COVID-19 pandemic weaponized the air we breathe, it was clear that local air pollution was a slow motion crisis for residents of Boston’s Chinatown. Situated at the nexus of the Mass Pike and I-93, Chinatown is uniquely burdened by the vehicular emissions of the cars, trucks, and buses that traverse this major transportation corridor. Analysis from the Cambridge-based Union of Concerned Scientists found in 2019 that Chinatown has the worst air quality in Massachusetts. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America ranked Boston 8th on its list of “Asthma Capitals”, while Springfield was ranked 1st. The dismal rankings are based on asthma prevalence, emergency department visits due to asthma, and asthma-related fatalities. Read the full op-ed on the Dig Boston website.