Who’s Watching The Children?

BY ON July 20, 2011

 Ronnie Citron-FinkI am not a worrywart. Those who know me know it’s not my nature to be constantly troubled about my kids. As a mom, I allowed them to take the risks they needed to grow. They snowboarded down mountains so high it took my breath away , and dove off cliffs into the ocean (ok, that one I did not know about until after the fact). I breezed through these parental moments, but now I’m totally fit to be tied.

Every day, I read stories like the ones below and wonder why our elected officials are decidedly anti-child.

Who’s watching out for our children as their health and safety are being chipped away at?

CHIP…

A New York Times article about a decision against a proposed rule that would have required building contractors to test dust and prove the absence of lead following renovations has got me peeved.

Republicans, led by Senate Environment and Public Works Committee member James Inhofe (R-Okla.), was critical of the proposed testing proposal. He claimed victory after the final rule was issued:

“The intent of the rule, public health protection especially for children and pregnant women, is something everyone supports, but it needs to happen in a way that does not place costly or confusing burdens on those trying to implement it,” ~ James Inhofe

Read closely…this does not relate to protecting children and pregnant women. Does it? It sounds like they are protecting their businesses assets…and their political asses.

Inhofe led a group of GOP senators in sending a letter to the White House to lobby against the clearance testing mandate for lead. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) called the decision:

“…major victory for small business owners nationwide saddled with needlessly onerous regulations that are stifling their ability to grow and prosper during these difficult economic times.”

You have got to be kidding! Lead…Our children!

Do these people have children? Who’s watching out for our children?

What happened to referring to reports that confirmed when the U.S. government banned lead paint in 1978, the percentage of children with high levels of lead in their blood has plummeted from 88% in the 1970s to 1.6% in 2005? This was one of the great triumphs in public health the last 25 years.

“Children’s health advocates are disheartened that EPA chose not to strengthen the rule and better protect kids by requiring clearance dust testing after renovation work,” ~ Rebecca Morley, executive director of the National Center for Healthy Housing

Of course they are “disheartened.” Who is protecting our kids from lead dust, which has been proven to cause severe mental and physical development in children…even in small amounts?

CHIP, CHIP…

Then there is this article about gutting the Clean Water Act. Here’s how it starts:

“On Thursday, the House passed a bill that effectively eliminates federal oversight on water standards. The bill rolls back the Clean Water Act, returning most oversight to the states, and passed with almost all Republicans and a handful of Democrats supporting it.
The measure has a title that sounds kind of pleasant—the “Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011″—but when you read it you realize it’s really just an effort to return us to the days of the Cuyahoga River fire and Love Canal.”

Love Canal? Why don’t we just hug a toilet? Who’s watching out for our children?

Just check out the stats in this one:

MAPLight.org crunched the numbers and found that interest groups that supported this motion—like the National Mining Association and the West Virginia Coal Association—gave 94 percent more money to House members who voted in favor of the bill than they did to those who voted against it. Those interest groups gave 61 times as much money ($13,588 total) to Democrats who voted for it as they gave to Dems who voted against it (just $224).”

CHIP, CHIP, CHIP…

There’s a reason the Clean Water and the Clean Air Acts were signed into law in the 1970’s: The states weren’t doing a particular good job of keeping the rivers from catching fire, and the air was putridly polluted.

I’m worried, and I’m not willing to risk the future of our children’s clean air, water and land because some politicians don’t support our children.

Who’s watching out for our children?

We are…The Moms Clean Air Force has got your their back. But, you must sign up and join the Force …we can’t fight polluters without you.

TOPICS: Activism, Coal, Economics, Mercury Poisoning, Politics, Pollution

  • gloriap

    My daughter is applying early-decision to a NY university, and has her required interview next Monday. We’re sending her up to NY by herself on the train – our extremely sheltered in the suburbs little girl will arrive in Penn Station on her own. My husband is more worried than I am, but she absolutely rejects the idea that we drive her there. It’s time to let go. But allowing your child to start spreading her wings, which can put her at greater risk, is sooo very different than environmental risks, that are only going to get worse over time. Actually, the harmful effects of tainted air is not a risk at all, it’s an absolute certainty. If parents don’t fight it… well, it’s unthinkable.

  • http://www.econesting.com/ Ronnie

    Congrats, Gloria on giving your daughter strong roots and wings! In just a few months when she’s an college, she’ll be making so many independent decisions. As parents, we’ve got to trust that we’ve given them the tools they’ll need to make the right choices. Unfortunately, some of those tools our parents worked hard to give us that kept us safe and healthy – the Clean Air and Clean Water Act are jeopardy. It’s hard to trust elected officials with our children’s future when they govern for the interests of power companies that fund their campaigns. The unthinkable can happen in our children’s lifetime if our their rights are not protected. Thanks for your comment!