This was written by New Hampshire State Representative Jill Shaffer Hammond, exclusively for Moms Clean Air Force:
Take a deep breath. Breathe in that life-giving oxygen. Hold … 2 … 3… 4.
Exhale slowly. Let go of all that stale air. Relax. Repeat till any tension melts away.
OH! But wait! Can we trust that air? With that life-giving oxygen, are we also breathing in contaminants, substances that threaten our health and well-being? Beyond our personal health, how does it affect our children with their growing bodies?
As a NH state representative serving on the Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee, I’ve been involved with the passage of bills dealing with second-hand tobacco smoke and reporting of radon testing. These are sources of pollutants that are close at hand and can be dealt with by state regulation.
However, just a few days ago, we had a bad air day here in southwestern New Hampshire. Pollution from out of state affected our air quality and weather conditions, trapped that air at low levels. Could we see that? Could we stop breathing? News advisories on air quality were our only evidence. Life had to go on.
So the efforts to stop air pollution from sources downwind from us, to improve air quality for all, and keep our environment healthy for future generations must be a universal, national action.
I want to be able to teach my grandchildren how to relax: to pause, take a deep breath, hold, and exhale any tension and anxiety. And know that it is good for them.
Representative Jill Shaffer Hammond is serving her 3rd term in the NH House of Representatives. She serves on the House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee. To breathe and decompress after long days at legislative session, Jill and her dog, Savannah, enjoy long walks in the New Hampshire woods. Jill is a freelance graphic designer mom who lives in Peterborough, NH.