According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the prevalence of asthma in the US has skyrocketed since the mid-1990s, with more than a third of adults reporting symptoms.
The number of asthma cases among US children has more than tripled since 1990, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In 2017, there were more than 13 million Americans diagnosed with asthma.
With the prevalence rate rising, many parents are wondering if the solution to their childrens’ asthma problems is to pipe the water into their homes, the Associated Press reports.
“The reality is, it’s just not that easy to get the pipes cleaned,” said Dr. Andrew Smith, an assistant professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Public Health at Mount Auburn University.
“A lot of things can happen to pipes that could potentially cause problems,” he added.
Experts agree that while pipes can be cleaned with vinegar, it can’t remove all of the bacteria, which can cause lung and bronchial infections.
While some cities have been working on measures to improve their water quality, like using natural gas to power pipes, others are still experimenting with the idea of piping in tap water.
But in some cases, pipes could actually become a barrier to breathing.
When the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced plans to ban the use of pipe-cleaning products in the United States, the company behind the product, Con Edison, said it would have to start testing its products in cities where the regulations were in place, AP reports.