This was written by Moms Clean Air Force’s Nevada State Coordinator, Mercedes McKinley:
There are just 5 days left to tell EPA we need a stronger soot standard to protect the air our children breathe.
Soot pollution is dangerous. Breathing soot can cause asthma attacks, chronic lung disease, and other respiratory illnesses—which are especially harmful for children, whose lungs are still developing. This is a particular problem for children in neighborhoods like mine, near major sources of soot. Yet EPA has proposed new standards that fall far short of the protection our families need.
Ever since my family and I arrived in Las Vegas from El Salvador in 1987, we have lived in immigrant communities that each harbor different health hazards. Today, I live with my 78-year-old mother and 2-year-old daughter in a house close to highway US-95/I-515.
This highway is one of the main corridors from Nevada to Arizona. Our home air filters have to be replaced monthly instead of every 3 months. Soot and other pollution from tailpipe exhaust builds up, and if we don’t wipe it down, a black film forms on the grills of our air vents.
Our ZIP code is home to a large Latino community that mostly serves the casino industry. My neighbors drive taxis, cook food, and tend to the casino floors. We are a low-income immigrant community that feels abandoned by environmental regulations.
The air around us gets dirtier and dirtier, and we don’t see anything being done to stop it.
I don’t want to be another statistic anymore. I want my daughter to grow up here without the asthma or chronic lung disease that many other children in the neighborhood have. Our families deserve better.