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When I was little and my family temporarily moved from Northern to Southern California, my mother used to look outside at the gray sky and put a sweater on me before sending me outside to play. Having grown up in the San Francisco Bay Area, a gray sky meant the morning’s fog that commonly blanketed the area up hadn’t quite burned off yet. When I came in hot and sweaty, she realized the haze wasn’t fog but smog, a haze combined with smoke and other pollutants in the atmosphere.
Nearly forty years later, air pollution continues to be a problem in cities across America and around the world.
According to Science Daily, smog continues to be a problem because of the health risks it poses to senior citizens, kids, and people with heart and lung conditions.
Ground-level ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide carbon monoxide are especially harmful for senior citizens, children, and people with heart and lung conditions such as emphysema, bronchitis, and asthma.
It can inflame breathing passages, decreasing the lungs’ working capacity, and causing shortness of breath, pain when inhaling deeply, wheezing, and coughing.
It can cause eye and nose irritation and it dries out the protective membranes of the nose and throat and interferes with the body’s ability to fight infection, increasing susceptibility to illness.
I think about Emily’s best friend with Cystic Fibrosis and how the air quality affects her health along with the disease that she works so hard to manage. I wonder how many members of our soccer team wouldn’t have problems with asthma if our air was cleaner. I worry about what the world will be like for my two children as they grow up and what kind of world their kids (my grandchildren) might inhabit.
Harmful pollution, climate change and toxic chemicals are putting our precious children at risk. As parents, it’s our job to take care of our kids and one of the best ways to ensure we’re protecting the health of our children is to cast your vote on Election Day as if their lives depended on it.
Election Day is our chance to create change. We can vote to elect candidates who care about issues that affect our children’s health and eventually, our grandchildren.
Here’s what you need to know about clean air, climate change, and toxic chemicals that put our families at risk.
Air pollution from fossil fuels leads to bad air quality in many communities. Increases in smog can trigger asthma attacks and aggravate other chronic health problems. Use your vote to protect little lungs from toxic air pollution instead of casting a vote against your child’s health and in favor of protecting polluters’ profits.
Our changing climate is making smog worse. The same harmful pollution that is making our children sick causes temperatures to rise and extreme weather events to occur. This increases respiratory health threats for individuals with allergies and asthma while intense heat waves exacerbate heart and lung conditions. Next Tuesday vote for candidates who support proposals to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. And vote to put our country on a clean energy path while protecting American jobs!
Dangerous chemicals are found in our daily lives. Often times they enter our homes and bodies without our realizing it. Unfortunately, these chemicals may not even have been disclosed, identified, or studied. Thousands of toxic chemicals found in everyday products are linked to potential reproductive and developmental toxicity, endocrine disruption, birth defects, cancer, asthma, headaches and skin irritants. Children are among the most vulnerable to such chemicals.
This November, your vote will tell leaders that you care about protecting little lungs from toxic air pollution.
As parents it’s our job to stand up for our children and grandchildren and this Election Day we need to vote for leaders who support clean energy and will protect our children’s right to clean air. This November I support candidates who care about having clean air, climate change, and safeguarding our kids from toxic chemicals that are part of our daily lives but shouldn’t be.
Join the fight to protect tiny lungs by pledging to vote on November 8.
This post was produced with support from Clean Air Moms Action. All opinions are, of course, my own.