Healthcare providers were surprised in May to discover that asthma rates had jumped 105% for residents aged 25 to 64, and about 40% for those 20 and younger. The report to the Glendale Healthier Community Coalition did not specify a cause for the increase.
Designating asthma as a top public health priority would put hospitals in a better position to apply for grant funding to study the issue further, Nelson said.
Whether the increased asthma rates are due to an unknown risk factor, pollution source or lifestyle habit, more study was called for, Nelson said.
Proximity to three major highways, mountain-constrained valleys and a light industrial corridor is not unique to Glendale. And the east San Fernando Valley region, of which Glendale is a part, typically experiences fewer daily unhealthy air designations than other Southland areas, according to annual reports from the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
But as a whole, Glendale is well within the boundaries of the Los Angeles air basin, which was flagged by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week for failing to meet stricter air quality standards established in 2006.
The upcoming Quality of Life indicators report is scheduled to be presented to the City Council later this year.
Water rates jumped 12.4% Thursday for most homeowners and commercial customers in Glendale — the second in a series of three controversial annual rate increases narrowly approved by the City Council in 2007.
Base water rates went from $1.29 to $1.45 per hundred cubic feet. The unit price for the first 1,000 cubic feet only went up a penny to 73 cents in a bid to encourage residents to conserve more water, officials said.