Talk to any school teacher and she’ll tell you that over the years, she has seen more and more children with asthma. The inhaler — that hand-held device that delivers medication straight to little lungs — has landed on millions of parents’ checklists of back to school supplies.
Asthma triggers are plentiful in homes and classrooms. (Tweet this) Some of them, like pollen and dust, mites and pet dander, have been around for generations. So they can’t account for the shockingly high rates of asthma across the country. Other asthma triggers are newer: chemicals in cleaning supplies, plastics, furniture, and building products, and the air pollution from cars and trucks. And, now, chemicals from oil and gas operations.
That’s right. Fracking pollution can trigger asthma attacks.
It isn’t bad enough that methane escaping from every stage of oil and gas development is throwing our climate off balance —for the worse; we are breaking heat records every single month. Oil and gas pollution travels far downwind from original sources—resulting in elevated levels of smog, or ground level ozone.
A new report, from the Clean Air Task Force, analyzes the impact of oil and gas production on asthma rates, and concludes that nationally, children miss half a million days of school each year due to the smog from oil and gas production.
Reason enough to stop methane emissions, and to stop building out fossil fuel infrastructure, locking us into decades more reliance on dirty energy. Instead, we have to focus on building out sources of clean energy.
We want to teach our children well. So, along with the classic 3 Rs (Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic), how about adding some new 3Rs… Reasonable, Reliable, Renewable Energy.
Little lungs have the right to clean air. Kids — and their moms — have enough to worry about. We don’t need to add pollution to the Back To School burdens!
Happy Labor Day — rest up for all the work we have ahead!