This piece was cross-posted from Milspouse Mutterings
Actually, here in Florida – it’s smoke in your nose, the patiofurniture, the wet bathing suits hanging by the pool. Visiting my parents in Florida, the wild fires in the area are permeating the air with the smell of smoke, the haze in the air. I asked where the fires were, thinking that the local national forest might be burning again. Her nonchalant answer – oh over in the Flagler area, which is over 70 miles away reminded me that the wind does carry more than the scent of cut grass from the green outside their back yard; the sweetness of the jasmine hedge, or the good healthy barn smells when you pass the horse farm down the road. This threat is palpable, the elderly are told to stay indoors and those with compromised breathing should also stay indoors, or take their inhaler with them.
How would I feel if this area wasn’t downwind of a forest fire, but of a coal fired power plant? If the smell of smoke wasn’t the pollutant, but the particulate matter laden with mercury that drifts downwind of a power plant. The thin coating of soot that smears the patio furniture is from burning trees, and grasses; not laden with arsenic or mercury or other heavy metals, but what if it was? The phosphate problem in their pool is caused by the drift of fertilizers from the area, deposited on the screen enclosure and then deposited in the pool when it rains. What if it was mercury, as is happening to the Great Lakes and other lakes in the US?
Think about it, in many areas of the country, rain is bringing not only lifesaving water, but also deadly toxins into our water. The fish in these lakes are unsafe for pregnant women and small children – even though fish is commonly perceived as good for us.
There is a hearing:
– WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8, 2011
Hearing on air quality and children’s health Senate Environment and Public Works
10:00 AM, 406 Dirksen
Witnesses: James Ginda, supervisor of respiratory care, Kent Hospital; Julie Goodman, principal, Gradient; Patty Resnik, corporate director, Christiana Care Health System; Margo Thorning, senior vice president, American Council for Capital Formation; and Dona Upson, board member, American Lung Association of New Mexico.
Call your Senator or send them an email. Moms Clean Air Force has a quick and easy one for you to copy and send.
Dear Sen. So-and-So
Thank you for holding a hearing on Air Quality and Children’s Health. As a parent, this is a very important issue to me. I joined the Moms Clean Air Force because I was worried about the harm that toxic air pollution might be doing to my children’s health and well-being. I look forward to watching the hearing and learning more about this issue, and about your position.
Your Name Here
Can you do this for our kids? For their continuing health? Thanks!