RIGHT TO BREATHE: 50 STATES UNITED

Janet Holloway

I developed a strong conviction that clean air is not only a must for all of us, but that it is also our right.

Profession: Registered Nurse
Group Affiliation: Virginia Nurses Association/American Nurses Association

Clean Air Ambassador:

Janet Holloway, RN

Richmond, Virginia

Growing up in a small community about 30 miles outside of Pittsburgh, PA, I often heard relatives share tales about that industrial city's long prevalent air pollution. I also heard stories about a tragic week (in October, 1948) in a town even closer to our community, in which 20 deaths and thousands of illnesses were attributed to a severe unhealthy air situation. While I did not live through those periods, those stories became etched in my memory, and I developed a strong sense of the importance of clean, healthy air and of the impact of polluted air on human health. As my appreciation of our environment and its effect on our health expanded, I developed a strong conviction that clean air is not only a must for all of us, but that it is also our right.

Today, I am a mom and a critical care nurse, so this issue has certainly become personal. I want my children, my patients, and my community to experience the healthiest possible future. Breathing unhealthy/polluted air diminishes that opportunity, especially for those who are most vulnerable—children, the elderly, those with chronic conditions, and the urban poor. No one should contract an illness or have to fight for a breath because they inhaled chemicals or particulates that were knowingly pumped into our atmosphere by industries that ignore or deny the risk to public health. These are preventable illnesses.

I want officials in Washington, D.C. to understand that clean air is a matter of health. Pollutants in our air can worsen existing respiratory diseases and leave the public vulnerable to long-term health problems like asthma and other serious illnesses. Clean air standards that are weak or not enforced put public health at risk. We all have a right to breathe clean, healthy air, and no person or industry should be sanctioned to release harmful substances into our air—especially not on the basis of economics. Our family is also struggling to balance our budget, but at the top of our budget is our health and welfare. The enforcement of the Clean Air Act protects the public health of all communities.

All Messages: Supporting Our Clean Air Ambassadors.

Go mom!

Janet, I love how you are so passionate about this issue. You are an inspiration to us all!

Janet,

You have been an inspiration to me for 35 plus years as a friend, colleague and expert critical care nurse. Your passion for the environment, advocacy and strong voice is making a difference in our lives and the future lives of our children. Thank you for your commitment and leadership !

Thanks for being our advocate. I am hoping that if we make enough noise, those in power will not be able to drown us out.
I think it's horrible that the well being of our citizens is often placed beneath the desire of some for a few more percentage points in profits. Make them listen!

Thanks for taking a stand. We also have first-hand experience of the importance of clean air, and of the consequences of breathing polluted air. We know the polluters are lying and we know why certain politicians are trying to help them avoid reasonable safety regulations. We also know that there's only one way to stop them, and that's for as many of us as possible to speak out and keep this issue in front of Congress and the public.

Thank you for doing your part.

Greetings from Portsmouth, VA! Thank you Janet for what you are doing.

Janet, you are such an inspiration!! Thanks for helping to protect our future generations and enlightening me with your vast knowledge on this topic. I want clean air for my children and appreciate your devotion to the environment. Thanks again!!

Thanks for what you are doing from Greene Co. VA!

Hi, Janet! I'm a clean air fan over here in TVA country in Tennessee. I'll be thinking of you tomorrow. Thanks so much for doing this!

When I was a kid I suffered from asthma until I started high school. I still remember what it is like to have to struggle for each breath and to be the only kid on the block to have to stay inside on hot smoggy days when all the other neighborhood kids were out playing ball on the street in front of our house. I know I hear about a lot more kids having asthma today than 40 years ago when I fought to breath. Today I fear I would not be the only kid on the block who has to stay inside. Janet thank you for going to DC to tell our Senators and Representatives what it is all really about -- making it safe for our kids to breath and play. Tell them to side with our kids, not the big polluters who are trying to block the EPA from making them have to stop poisoning our air and hurting all of us. Bless you for what you are doing.

Thank you, Janet. Good luck!

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