Federal Laws

Allergy & Asthma Network has joined with patient advocates to lead numerous efforts to champion federal and state laws to improve the health and quality of life for people with asthma, allergies and related conditions. Following are key pieces of legislation at the state and federal levels that are important for people with these conditions to learn about and be aware of.

School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation

Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act

Asthmatic Schoolchildren’s Treatment and Health Management Act

Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA)

School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act

Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education and Research (FASTER) Act

Photo of study injecting emergency epinephrine through jeans

School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act

The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act amends the Public Health Service Act, with respect to asthma-related grants for child health services. The Act gives an additional preference to a state that allows self-administration of asthma and anaphylaxis medication and makes a certification concerning the adequacy of the state’s civil liability protection law to protect trained school personnel who may administer epinephrine to a student reasonably believed to be having an anaphylactic reaction.

Photo of teacher at a table with students. She is working one one with a red headed girl in a wheelchair

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act protects the rights of persons with handicaps in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Section 504 protects the rights not only of individuals with visible disabilities but also those with disabilities that may not be apparent. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) enforces Section 504 in programs and activities that receive financial assistance from ED. This means that the Department of Education enforces the civil rights of students with disabilities under Section 504.

Photo of woman reading the food labels at the grocery store

Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act

The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act is an amendment to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and requires that the label of a food that contains an ingredient that is or contains protein from a “major food allergen ” declare the presence of the allergen in the manner described by the law.

Photo of school age child holding an asthma inhaler up to her mouth with a spacer in between. She is self-administering her medication in school.

Asthmatic Schoolchildren’s Treatment and Health Management

The Asthmatic Schoolchildren’s Treatment and Health Management Act gives grant preference to states that require schools to allow students to self-administer medication to treat a student’s asthma and for other purposes.

Photo of a young special needs child looking up from the floor with paint on her hands. She is smiling and fingerpainting at school.

Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA)

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law that makes available a free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation and ensures special education and related services to those children.

Image of a teacher looking a the camera and smiling. She is working at a desk with other teachers for the concept of learning how to work with children that need medication in school.

School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act

The School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act increases grant preference to states which implement comprehensive school-based asthma and allergy management programs (SAMPRO) that include student action plans, and education and training for school staff to administer medications in an emergency.

Photo of bread with a magnifying glass over it. There is a nutritional label in the magnifier for the concept of allergen ingredients.

Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education and Research (FASTER) Act

The Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education and Research (FASTER) Act requires the collection of national information on Americans’ exposure to food allergens and prevalence of food allergies for specific allergens; updates allergen labeling laws to include “sesame”; expands current guidance on patient experience data to include food allergies; and studies the economic costs of food allergies.

See State Laws ➨