By: Luz Drada, Program Coordinator, Moms Clean Air Force
Date: February 23, 2023
About: Environmental Protection Agency Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0072
To: Environmental Protection Agency
Good afternoon. Thank you for the opportunity to allow me to speak today. I am Luz Drada, and I am the Program Coordinator at Moms Clean Air Force and its Latino engagement program, EcoMadres. a community of over 1.5 million moms and dads across the country united to protect children from air pollution and climate change.
I live in Washington, DC, and I am here today to testify on the importance of setting more robust annual and daily particle pollution standards to help clean up our air, protect the health of our families and communities, and advance environmental justice.
The Environmental Protection Agency's proposed particle pollution standard is a step in the right direction but does not go far enough. Both the annual and daily particle pollution standards matter because both long-term and short-term exposure to particle pollution impacts our health.
Today, I am asking the EPA to set a more health-protective standard for daily particle pollution which is not healthy to breathe and puts the health of people like me with underlying health conditions at higher risk, which can be impacted by poor air quality. I have a compromised immune system, and air pollution can worsen that.
I am a mother of a six-year-old boy. And during my pregnancy, I developed a high-risk condition called Preeclampsia; as a consequence, I gave birth to a premature baby. And I know firsthand the effects and health outcomes can last a lifetime for some preterm children.
Air pollution threatens maternal health and pregnancy outcomes, affecting socioeconomically disadvantaged Latino populations like mine.
As a mother of a premature child, it is terrifying to know that particulate pollution can penetrate our lungs as my son's little lungs are still developing. I am here today because I know what it's like to be the mother of a premature child. I know how heartbreaking it is. And I know all the emotional and financial costs it carries for families like mine. Babies born premature can suffer lifelong effects such as poor health and growth and can be more susceptible to air pollution health impacts.
Parents around the country ask the Environmental Protection Agency to set stronger particle pollution standards that protect our kids' health now and in the future.
I urge the EPA to set a more protective standard for both annual and 24-hour particle pollution that will also advance environmental justice and help save millions of lives.
All families and communities deserve to breathe clean air.
Thank you for your work and thank you for your time today.