RIGHT TO BREATHE: 50 STATES UNITED

Bettie Kettell

Mercury from the exhaust from the coal-fired power plants has contaminated our lakes and streams and caused the need for fish advisories throughout the entire state.

Profession: Registered Nurse
Group Affiliation: American Nurses Association

Clean Air Ambassador:

Bettie Kettell

Durham, Maine

Both indoor and outdoor air pollution have affected my life. Androscoggin County has several industries, with the greatest polluter between 10 and 12 miles from my home. The list of pollutants includes formaldehyde, methanol and many others. Much of the air pollution in Maine comes from out-of-state coal-fired power plants and other mid-western industry. We are in the path of prevailing winds that bring us many pollutants. Mercury from the exhaust from the coal-fired power plants has contaminated our lakes and streams and caused the need for fish advisories throughout the entire state.

Though Maine is a relatively clean air state in comparison to others, the cold drives us indoors where we are exposed to significant pollution from the many chemicals in our lives. I developed asthma at age 50 from exposure to latex gloves and the powder they contain. I require daily prescriptions and am prone to serious bronchitis when I get a cold. I am very aware of airborne pollutants that can cause me to have breathing problems. I often have trouble singing in my church choir.

I was a participant in the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine's biomonitoring study in 2006 (www.cleanandhealthyme.org). The 13 subjects were tested for 72 chemicals. I tied for first place with another subject for the most in me. We each had 43! Mine included all of the brominated flame retardants, in high levels. These substances off-gas from the products they are in and are then in the dust and air that we breathe.

I want members of Congress to continue to support the efforts of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This organization needs to be strengthened, not eliminated.
 

All Messages: Supporting Our Clean Air Ambassadors.

We need to all pay attention. There's no reason we should be inhaling, handling or in any way coming in contact with these harsh pollutants.

Have you read The Healthy Home by Myron Wentz, M.D. and Dave Wentz? The book discusses all the forms of pollution in our homes, garages and yards.

Bettie and all: What Happened? Any response? Promises? Who did you talk to? Did you talk about small sources adding up to many times more pollution than the large sources? IE Califrmia fireplaces alone adding up to more than the polution from 4 large source coal power plants. Will EJ take on the wood smoke problem? The Carbon Black Soot problem from wood burning engulfing cities in pollution photographed all over the world? Will you join me and the American Lung and Am Medical assn in trying to estsablish a definition of what constitutes a wood smoke health nuisance? Join the Toxics Action Center? Join the International Coalition Aaginst Wood Burning Pollution? No money. Not much time. Sign a petition?. Tell your story? Do you smell the wood smoke in the Androscoggin Valley? Do you think the toxics they picked up in your body may have come from wood smoke?
Ernie Grolimund, Waterville Maine

You are doing a great job for Maine's environment. Keep it up!

Go Bettie. It is time for the American people to
WAKE UP. Apathy does not cut it anymore.

Thank you for representing our state in Washington - the fight for clean air is so important. Without clean air and water, there can be no life. How can anyone not understand this?

Thanks for your work in Washington. I look forward to the day when mercury levels in our lakes and streams starts to decrease, and ultimately decreasing to natural levels. I worry about the loons and other creatures that depend on eating fish out of the lakes as well as people who are eating the fish they catch. We've got to rein in chemicals in the environment!

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I am so happy to know of another Durham resident who is involved with working for the environment. We must protect the air we breathe and the water that we drink and use. Air and water move across state lines and need the protection of the national government. We in Maine are at the end of the westward movement of air in this country. We can do much to help ourselves here but also need the support of our congress and government. We must all do our part in working to strengthen environmental regulations by calling and writing to those who represent us.

Thank you for all you do for our work environment and our state!!!

I'm so proud of you and glad to have known you. Keep up the great work you do. A great number of us thank you.

this is the only place we have to live. no one would allow this destruction into their homes! so why allow it on the only planet we have?

I agree with you and think that all of our dirty energy practices should be phased out NOW instead of hemming and hawing and dragging the feet of our country's political engine; the system is broken and green energy options needs to be more than a political by word that gets election votes and a real concentrated effort to create change.

Keep our EPA and environmental regulations strong. We all need to breathe clean air and drink clean water!

Thank you for all your valiant efforts for all the lungs of Maine and beyond.

Please continue to fight for the health of all species/the planet! Thank you.

Maine is NOT a relatively clean air state anymore. It used to be. Then the energy crisis hit and the wood burning began and the regional 25 mcg/m3 pm2.5 became 50 mcg/m3 in the cities in vallies per Prof Brauer and the hotspot pm at houses from wood burners became 75 mcg/m3 pm2.5, 24 hr ave, or more. This 24 hr pm from burning at hotspots is 3 times more for the 3 hr ave or 3 times 25 =75 mcg/m3 to which you have to add the 80 mcg/m3 city pm in the streets at night or about 150 mcg/m3. This can cause asthma attacks and heart attacks and heart attacks within an hour or so +/-. So Maines air is not clean any more. The regional pm monitor system is setup to avoid hotspots and city pm too so the problem is hidden and only engineers like me who are extremely studius and lawyers like Paul Cort of EJ, who I talked to, ever find this out. Houses, cities, and regions like the Hudson River Valley are getting engulfed in wood smoke.See the website: The International Coalition Against Wood Burning Pollution I helped co found, a victims group website. Photos, monitoring, modeling, advanced portable regional monitoring, and modeling are there with satelite monitoring and photos and more to prove everything I wrote.

I would like to meet with you to discuss this and see if I can't join you in being an EJ ambassador. I worked with EJ,EDF,NRDC, etc to help get the carbon black soot bill passed. It is possible I had the original idea and then the groups all rallied around my call for a grand alliance. So I want be a part of this alliance too.

Ernie

Three Cheers for Bettie! And Three Cheers for those who inform and energize us!

Have a great time, and keep the pressure on!

Bless you!

I'm so glad you're there representing us! Thank you, Bettie. Clean air is just a no brainer -- humans have had no right to degrade the environment to the extent that we already have, and to continue -- and to escalate polluting our atmosphere is absolutely unacceptable. Toxins in the air effect our own species and are killing many others -- that is shameful and wrong.

Thanks so much!

Clean air matters for reasons from the profound to the trivial. At one end I wonder how many bluebirds I'd have seen in my thirty years in Maine if the air had been clean. At the other, I wonder how much better my classic car would have looked without thirty years of acid rain.

Keep up the good fight.

Bettie, THANK YOU! I am in full support of you. I, too, have breathing challenges at times. Without clean air we cannot live!

All of us who desire clean air, clean water, and no billboards in Maine are with you. A strong EPA is emblematic of a strong America. Thanks for representing us.

Thanks for going to DC and representing Maine and clean air!

Bettie, huge thanks for representing our state !

I am 100% with you! I am a non-traditional student at Unity College in Maine, "America's Environmental College". Please consider speaking at Unity College about clean air, corporations, politics and pollution.

We're 100% behind you, Bettie; more power to you! I write constantly in support of environmental, women's and human rights causes. It's time consuming, but makes me feel that in a small way I may be making a difference.
Bill & Marilyn Voorhies, W. Tremont, ME

Thanks for going to D.C., Bettie!

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