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Clean Air Ambassador: Alycia Ashburn

Even though I wore a breathing mask as much as possible, I still developed asthma.

(The following is excerpted from Alycia’s testimony at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's New Source Pollution Standards for Carbon Pollution Hearing on May 24, 2012.)

[I am] director of the creation care campaign at Sojourners (one of the nation’s largest network of Christians committed to social justice)—I wear my many other hats at the same time: U.S. citizen, Christian, congregation member, educator/trainer for Lutherans Restoring Creation, biologist, wife, daughter, runner, National Parks lover, and last but certainly not least, especially in this context: asthma sufferer.

I wasn't born with asthma. In fact, one could argue that it was—at least in part—an occupational hazard that led to it. When my love of God’s creation led me to graduate school, I spent many hours, days and months in plots of trees fumigated with ozone and carbon dioxide (studying insects living in those trees and the impact of air pollution on their communities). Even though I wore a breathing mask as much as possible, I still developed asthma. I know—it’s ironic. My study of air pollution led to my own personal health battle with it.

Ironic for me, maybe, because I chose my field of study; but not ironic for so many others in the U.S.

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Ambassador Audio: 
Ambassador Group Affiliation: 
National Council of Churches
Ambassador Profession: 
Director, Creation Care Campaign