The Latest On: The Right to Breathe
An executive order issued by Washington State governor Chris Gregoire in 2009 proclaimed that, "Greenhouse gases are air contaminants within the meaning of the state's Clean Air Act and pose a serious threat to the health and welfare of Washington citizens and the quality of the environment."
Two new studies published this week by UCSF and Harvard’s School of Public Health stress just how harmful air pollution can be to society’s most vulnerable members – children, infants, and developing fetuses. Early exposure to nitrogen oxide, diesel particulates and other airborne metals, the studies show, can impair lung and immune system development and lead to long-lasting health problems such as asthma and autism.
A few days ago, a fierce army invaded Washington, D.C. to ask our representatives for something very simple: restore our right to breathe clean air.
The Arctic Athabaskan Council has filed a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights declaring that Canada’s failure to adequately regulate black carbon emissions is infringing on the rights of indigenous people. Black carbon releases fine particulate matter, or soot, into the atmosphere that absorbs heat and accelerates Arctic warming. The ensuing climate changes significantly hinder indigenous lifestyles, and the petition requests a review and report with recommendations for regulation to the Canadian government.