I’m the mother of two children. And I feel like I have a third child now–Freckleface Strawberry! She’s the heroine of my children’s books. Freckleface gets bullied about her freckles–but she is a strong kid. She learns to love herself. And she shows other kids how to feel good about themselves.
Raising kids is really hard work. I think about it all the time. Am I doing my best? Like all moms, I worry about stuff like bullying—BPA in cans and bottles–food that isn’t nutritious. The last thing I want to worry about is the air we breathe. I can’t control that! But we’ve got a very big problem these days. The Clean Air Act—the law that has done so much to clean up air pollution since I was a little girl–is now under a vicious, political attack. Sure, the skies look bluer these days. But that doesn’t mean they are totally clean. Some of the most dangerous forms of air pollution are….invisible. Things like mercury. Arsenic. Lead. Heavy metals. Acid gases.
Now we know: Air pollution isn’t just dirty. It is poisonous.
I remember when I was pregnant, my doctor told me not to eat tuna fish. It is contaminated with mercury. Mercury in food goes right to a baby’s brain. It damages the developing brains of fetuses. It causes behavioral and neurological problems in infants and toddlers. And mercury is a powerful hormone disrupter. Just like BPA. When I was pregnant, I stopped eating tuna. But I never stopped to think about where all that poisonous mercury comes from. Mercury comes from air pollution. Most of it comes from coal-fired power plants.
More than 400,000 babies are born every year in the U.S. with unacceptably high levels of mercury in their bodies.
I also know lots of children suffering from asthma. Ten percent of American children have asthma. Asthma is the #1 reason kids miss school. Asthma rates are skyrocketing. There is nothing scarier than watching a child who cannot breathe.
Asthma is a killer. Asthma is triggered by air pollution.
Air pollution is terrible for our children. Every single scientist, every single doctor will tell you the same thing: Air pollution damages our children’s brains, their hearts, and their lungs.
But there is good news. We can do something about air pollution. And we can do it without hurting the economy, or losing jobs. We know that–because plenty of coal plants have already cleaned up their act.
Now we have to make the rest of the polluters–the really bad guys–clean up. But we cannot do it alone.
Sometimes, being a good mom means being an active citizen. That’s why I joined Moms Clean Air Force. Moms are banding together.
We are making our voices stronger.
We are fighting for our children. Together, we are telling politicians to protect our right to clean air.
Polluters are bullies. They are bullying us. Polluters have political power. Polluters have money. They’re using money and power to drown out the truth about air pollution.
But moms have passion. Mother love is a force of nature.
TAKE ACTION–for the sake of the children we love. We make it easy for you to be heard. Tell Washington: Listen to your mothers! And someday, our children will thank us!
Thank you, Julianne for joining Moms Clean Air Force!
Photo credit: Dominique Browning