RIGHT TO BREATHE: 50 STATES UNITED

Sarah Rawson

Cutting funding to the EPA will only save money today. Tomorrow that money will be spent on medical care for those who now have asthma and those who will develop asthma...

Profession: Registered Nurse
Group Affiliation: American Nurses Association

Clean Air Ambassador:

Sarah Rawson, RN

Vancouver, Washington

I have been a pediatric nurse for the last 30 years, working in hospitals, schools and the community. I have worked with many children with asthma over the years.

But there was one family who really changed my perspective on asthma. It was a family of seven refugees from Burma who arrived by way of a refugee camp in Thailand. Five of the seven family members were affected by asthma. Their day-to-day medication list to keep the asthma under control was long and complex. Every time one of them caught a cold, the list became even longer. Visits to the emergency room were frequent, as were absences from school.

These asthma episodes were precipitated and made worse by poor indoor and outdoor air quality. Their apartment was old and plagued by mold and other environmental allergens. It was sandwiched between two busy freeways and was also two blocks from a main street in Portland. Through Healthy Homes, the family was able to move to a different apartment, which was still close to a busy street but further from the freeways. With the move, their asthma incidences improved greatly.

During the apartment search for a healthier place for them to live I realized that most apartment buildings are placed close to busy streets. Many of those who live in apartments are low-income and have no choice but to live on these busy streets. It is no wonder that so many of my clients and their children have asthma.

I realized that as the family I was working with moved out, another family would move in and be faced with the same issues. From this I realized that we need to fix the quality of our indoor and outdoor air on a bigger population basis.

The Environmental Protection Agency, Congress and other agencies have done much to improve the quality of our air. But with our climate changing, the air quality issues will only get worse and more children will develop asthma. Cutting funding to the EPA will only save money today. Tomorrow that money will be spent on medical care for those who now have asthma and those who will develop asthma, on those who lose their jobs because of days missed due to illness, and on those children who fall behind in school because of asthma.
 

All Messages: Supporting Our Clean Air Ambassadors.

Thank you for your efforts. It appears insane for any one to wish to weaken the EPA, but I guess there are folks who care only about short term profits and presume they will be wealthy while they live and don't care much about what happens afterward. Perhaps they will listen to their children before it is too late.

After the first century of rapid modern industrialization; compounded with our current over-population/wealth distribution dilema's: Our world leader's, more than the general populace, have a critical responsibility to foster long-term planetary sustainability. Considering BP made more money last year than the entire budget of the EPA, it's obvious the private sector is not qualified to ensure the preservation of our environment. If anything, the EPA needs more money.

One car idling in a closed parking garage will give you a headache in less than ten minutes1

It is hard to believe that those people think money is more important than the destruction of our planet. They should be charged with crimes against humanity.

Thank you so much for all of your efforts. It is beyond my comprehension to understand how any person could even think about cutting the Clean Air Act.

Money mongers don't care about the air that they breathe, because they are too ignorant to comprehend pollution.

We must protect our air!

I would seriously like my grandchildren to be able to breathe the air. Don't our lawmakers and lobbyists care about their grandchildren?
You can't inhale money.

Let the lawmakers and lobbyists suck on the tailpipe of a running car for ten minutes, if they survive they have proven clean air is not important!

Thank you. One world, one love.

Keep the air clean for us and the future please!

Having recently moved from the mountains to the city, I miss the clean air of the mountains immensely. I never noticed before how filthy city air actually is.

good luck in 'the other washington' - we are behind you 100%. Let them know what WE want for a change - clean air, fair tax burdens on the wealthy, no more polluter subsidies!

I have a hard time walking into department stores or having people who wear perfume walk by me. Corporations DO NOT have my permission or the right to dump their petro-chemicals and other pollution into the air I breathe. Support the agency that has been assigned to protect our environment!

I have a six year old granddaughter who has asthma. I deplore any effort to ignore clean air standards. Let us work together to protect public health and clean air for all.

My restrictive lung disease on top of a major disability makes me way more vulnerable to air pollution than most people. Many of my "able-bodied" friends have developed asthma in just the last few years. If I were to develop it like they have it would probably be the end of me.

It's astounding that we've come so far in fighting against pollution, only to have the republiCONS now wanting to totally dismantle the EPA and eradicate all our environmental policies that have made our air and water cleaner. We can't let them win!

Clean air for us to breathe and for all of life on this planet, should be an obvious priority.

we need to have our enviornment to be as safe for all of us

It really amazes me that we have to have a campaign for our right to breathe clean air. It should be a given for all on earth.

Cutting funding to the EPA will only save money today. Tomorrow that money will be spent on medical care

Short term gain is no gain at all; the sooner we take the protection of air quality seriously, the better the result - and probably cheaper in the long run.

The air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat must be free of toxins.
Protecting the air and water is the task of EPA, whose role is essential and should be
heightened not diminished.

To All it May Concern:

Our Planet is all we have. The greedy have destroyed far too much already.

Sincerely

Gary Nicholson

To All it May Concern:

Our Planet is all we have. The greedy have destroyed far too much already.

Sincerely

Gary Nicholson

I have allergies as well as sensitivity to chemicals and fragrance. The quality of the air is extremely important, breath is life. With smog and industrial contamination of the air life is much more difficult. The EPA has an essential role in protecting the nation's health.

I have been fortunate to be very healthy most of my 80 years. My heart is still in excellent condition. However, my wife has had asthma all her life and I have developed asthma just in the past few years. We feel fortunate that the air is now so much cleaner than it was years ago. It is definitely cleaner, usually, in Seattle than in places like Indonesia, where we lived for two years in 1984-1986. However, the air in Seattle is not so clean as it should be. In fact, I didn't develop asthma until after several years in Seattle. We definitely need the EPA to get the air cleaned up and kept clean. The air was a lot dirtier before the EPA started its work.

Clean air. It seemed so simple a concept 15 years ago. Folks don't seem to realize that the environment is where they live, and our corporate overlords simply don't care. So, thank you for carrying our message to Washington DC for us.

I grew up in Los Angeles. As a new student at UCLA, I often passed near (and sometimes through) the Public Health building. One of my most vivid memories of that year (now nearly forty years ago) is an image of a glass case in which they displayed a section of the lung of a former fellow SoCal resident; it was black in color and looked like a piece of industrial garbage, not part of a healthy body. At that moment I really understood what is at stake in our efforts to control pollution.

Thank you for being a Clean Air Ambassador and representing us Washingtonians in the fight for healthy breathable air. Chronic pulmonary disease is one of our greatest killers and causes of morbidity in this country, largely unrecognized by the general public. We need a strong EPA to be our advocate against those interests who would defile the air we need to survive and thrive.

I have been lucky. I grew up in Eastern WA, were the wind usually blows air pollution away. I've worked in Alaska, in the Bering Sea and there wasn't any air pollution to speak of there either. But travelling to Fl, AL, MS where the sunsets were neon red and the blue sky was overcast with a layer of gray, I begin to understand.

Then I tried raising my young daughter in the Seattle area. And she quickly developed allergies and occasional asthma from the mold in cheap apartments and poor air quality in town. So did I.

So when we moved back to E. WA, it was a blessing to breath again. Not all are so lucky.

Sarah - thank you for all you do to provide healthcare to families.

And thank you for being the ambassador for all of us in Washington!

Sarah, thank you so much for what you do. My grandmother, may she rest in peace, had asthma during the later years of her life, and there were times when smoke from burning food would trigger an attack, and she'd be in the ER for three hours on a nebulator. That is why it is important for us humans to have clean air to breathe. Just as smoke from burning food has the potential to trigger asthma, so too do other pollutants have the same potential.

Sarah, I wish you well, and keep up the good work that you are doing.

.

As an asthmatic, I know we have a lot of work to do to make our air quality what it should be. Without funding and authority, the EPA will be useless allowing corporations and industry to pretty much do what they please. Regulations have made our environment cleaner and all of us healthier. Let's not go backwards!

I am so sad for us Americans. We can't even remember the days when we didn't even know anyone with asthma and other pollution-related disorders. Now every other person has something wrong with their lungs or skin or other "sensitivities". And why? Because greedy profiteering companies have purchased their power over Congress and have created a very sick country and population. But, oh! What profits and what campaign contributions! It makes me angry, and I know that I will never vote for a congress person or patronize a company that does more harm than good for our planet and for us.

This problem keeps getting worse every year. How much longer will we loose quality of life to pollutants that can be reduced or eliminated? Short term financial gains by corporations should not outweigh the human right to clean air to breathe. Regulations and taxes are the public acts of conscience that protect our vulnerable citizens. Please use wisdom to protect our clean air.

It is crazy and stupid not to support keeping our air clean. So many politicians have become puppets for corporations that obviously don't value human life.

I grew up in LA in the 40s and 50s, when we used backyard incinerators to burn our garbage. Almost daily as a kid, I got air hunger so bad I couldn't go out for recess.
Later as a mother, I listened to my pediatrician worrying about increasing cases of asthma in his patients, due to auto exhaust on the freeways.
LA is so much cleaner now, due to regulation prohibiting incinerators and cars with bad exhaust. And ASARCO no longer pollutes the air on the Washington coast, due to regulation.
Let's keep going forward and making progress toward even cleaner air. Obviously, it's not gonna happen through enlightenment and altruism. We need tighter regulations and more attractive incentives to do the right thing. We need a stronger EPA.
Thanks for all you do toward that goal.

I try to imagine what it would be like to live where I was afraid to take deep breaths. I cannot; it's a nightmare. I cherish our fresh, clean air and cannot imagine living without. Clean air is NOT a luxury!

Thank you, Sarah, for defending our right to clean air!

Clean air is NORMAL. All else is an unacceptable aberation.

It makes no sense whatsoever to cut funding to the EPA. How does the old saying go? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. My father died of asthma, so this is a very personal issue for me.

Fight the Environmental POLLUTION Agency. Thanks!

Polluters have gotten away with their misdeeds, whether intended or not, because traditional accounting does not include real costs such as health care, environmental damage, etc. It is time for a proper accounting.

We must have clean air to survive. It's only the greedy corporations and those they support who don't care about clean air.

This is important for every single person on earth, even those greedy corporations, they just don't realize it because they only can see the money they think they will have. If they win we all lose because health care will go up and health will go down.

Fight for the EPA and clean air

Clean air is a human right, animal right, and environmental right. A no brainer if you ask me. The only reason to not support legislation that is going to improve the air is corporate greed and bought politicians.

Bad maintainance now only causes breakdown later. Keep the air clean for our children and grandchildren!

Thank you for all your hard work on behalf of the people of Washington. The basic right to have a life free of harsh toxins isn't so basic anymore, and we need more people like you fighting for us! Thank you again!

-Tamra Thomas
Seattle, WA

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