RIGHT TO BREATHE: 50 STATES UNITED

Ruth McDermott-Levy

The poor frequently have the greatest environmental burden related to air quality as they often live in industrialized areas that bring increased asthma risks.

Profession: Assistant Professor, Villanova College of Nursing
Group Affiliation: Pennsylvania State Nurses Association/American Nurses Association

Clean Air Ambassador:

Ruth McDermott-Levy, PHD, RN

Berwyn, Pennsylvania

Being an advocate for the poor and vulnerable is what public health nursing is.

In my job, I consider all aspects that influence health by promoting health and preventing disease. The natural environment, including the air we all breathe, is a crucial factor that influences our health. Poverty is another important factor that influences health. The poor frequently have the greatest environmental burden related to air quality as they often live in industrialized areas that bring increased asthma risks.

The issues of air quality affect us all. We see the effects of greenhouse gases on hot and humid days with high ozone levels and visible haze. This results in people with respiratory and cardiovascular diseases having greater problems on days of poor air quality. In addition, although I am in good health, on days of poor air quality, I come home physically exhausted and get tired more easily by walking up stairs to see patients.

Lately, when we have obvious poor air quality in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs, I have gone to the EPA web site to check the air quality report and the report states the air quality is in the "good" range. That does not reflect what I see. The asthmatic people I am working with are struggling to breathe and can clearly identify that it is related to increased ground level ozone. So, my question is, what is going on? Why don't the reports reflect the reality?
 

All Messages: Supporting Our Clean Air Ambassadors.

To Evangelina Joyce: PNSA and others are looking at the environmental & health issues related to Fracking, PSNA will be hosting an educational program at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre about the health effects of natural gas drilling on Oct. 7. Additionally, Penn Environment will be hosting a lobby day in Harrisburg focusing on natural gas drilling on June 7. When I was in Washington the legislators and their staff repeated how greatful they were to hear from real people in Pennsylvaina. Please be sure to make your voice heard. The legislators want to and need to hear from their constituents.

my concern in PA is FRACKING and Gas Drilling .. the many toxins that will get into the waterways, aquifers, and private wells is astounding, and the abundance of gases escaping into the atmosphere is tremendous. Gov Corbett received almost $1 mill in in campaign contributions from those 'energy' companies so he doesn't tax them at all!! ITs shocking. Already NY has declared a moratorium on Fracking - the injecting of water and chemicals into shale to blast it and create a 'tremor' of sorts to 'capture' the gas. so many gorgeous waterways have already been threatened. If we get too far behind this fight it will be too late. There are other alternate sources for energy, but they just don't make as much money as gas drilling does .. we need to stop this .. and we need to stop it now!!

Thank you Ruth for defending the right to breathe!

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