Americans Have a Right to Clean Air

This opinion piece from the Los Angeles Times outlines the ways that the abilities of the Environmental Protection Agency to protect our environment are being undermined from week to week.

A quote:

“How we respond to this assault on our environmental and public health protections will mean the difference between sickness and health — in some cases, life and death — for hundreds of thousands of citizens.

This is not hyperbole. The link between health issues and pollution is irrefutable. Mercury is a neurotoxin that affects brain development in unborn children and young people. Lead has similar effects in our bodies. Soot, composed of particles smaller across than a human hair, is formed when fuels are burned and is a direct cause of premature death. Nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds contribute to the ozone alert days when seniors, asthmatics and others with respiratory problems are at serious risk if they do nothing more dangerous than step outside and breathe the air.”

This brings to mind how critically important a clean, carcinogen free environment really is to humans and how little attention it gets. There is so much hype about finding cures for cancer, and so little discussion of how we can prevent it.

When I first began my campaign to help the American Lung Association, someone mentioned to me that they do not spend much money on research. In fact they spend a little over 10% of their total funds on research. I do not see this as a shortcoming, when you look at the money spent lobbying for protective environmental policies and public health campaigns. Lung diseases in general are largely preventable. I am proud to support an organization that is more interested in making these diseases history. I am proud to support an organization that doesn’t want anyone to experience lung disease in the first place.

Where is the fuss over preventing lung disease? Is it dismissed because it is so ‘impossible to live in a carcinogen free environment’? Who is telling us that? The carcinogen producing corporations?

With more research that is better publicized, we can develop the awareness to make more informed choices that will help us prevent cancers from occurring.


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