I’m cross posting from my friends at Moms Clean Air Force.  Last week we asked you, the readers of all the blogs of the Moms Clean Ai rForce to contact the EPA and let them know we support their fight against polluters; we support the new Mercury and Toxics Standards.  And a whole BUNCH of y’all did it!  You think that was it??? no no no…no resting on our laurels here.   We need to keep up the pressure.  Call your Senator, Call your Representative, Call the EPA.  Join Moms Clean Air Force – we combine our voices and get louder and LOUDER and LOUDER!

EPA Ruling Gets Huge Response. Thank You! Now What!?   Posted on August 9, 2011 by Dominique Browning

In the last few months, Americans submitted more than 800,000 comments in support of a new Environmental Protection Agency ruling, the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards–the first-ever national policy to curb dangerous mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants.

This is an unprecedented outpouring of support for cleaner air.

I want to thank everyone who joined MOMS CLEAN AIR FORCE, you helped send a strong message to Washington.

Clearly, Americans want cleaner air. Parents are especially passionate about fighting air pollution–it hurts fetuses, babies and toddlers the most . Every pregnant–or about to be pregnant,  you know should read about mercury poisoning. Get angry–and get active. How dare polluters poison our babies?

Many responsible coal plant executives have already installed filters on their plants–it hasn’t hurt their profits or cost them jobs.

But many polluters, and their lobbyists and political allies, are fighting these improvements. They are calling for repealing the Clean Air Act and gutting the EPA’s budget so that it cannot enforce any regulations.

Now what? Our work at MOMS CLEAN AIR FORCE is far from done. With the comment period closed, EPA considers the feedback, and responds to issues raised, often in the final version of the rule. The agency is required by the Courts to release the final rule by November 16, 2011. No one has to vote on the rule. Once it is published in the Federal Register, the clock starts ticking–emitters have three years from the date of publication to reduce their pollution.

Polluters will now be working overtime to figure out ways around the new ruling. They will lobby Congress to intervene to delay or alter it. Congress can pass laws that unravel air protection–laws that defund EPA, strike its right to set standards for these–or any other–pollutants, or EPA from spending money to implement rules; they could pass laws to weaken the emission standards, or extend polluters’ deadlines.

Ask everyone you know to JOIN MOMS CLEAN AIR FORCE . Forward this post along via email. Naptime Activism! We make it easy to keep up the pressure on political representatives to support clean air–and we’ll continue to explain why, exactly, it is so important to clean up the air.

We have to protect our children’s health; no one else cares as much as we do. And thank you, again, with all my heart, for joining me in this mission.


I don’t have asthma.  My son, when he was a kid, had what the Doctor called “exertional asthma” – when he was practicing his TaeKwonDo too much or too long, he wheezed a bit.  He had an inhaler, he used it a few times but when he stopped competing, he never needed it again.  Although, when he was sitting through a few Iraq windstorms, he remembered that feeling of not being able to catch his breath.   When I had an allergy attack in Italy from eating some mussels – I hated the feeling of not being able to breathe; I was terrified!

Now imagine feeling that daily, or being a mom watching your child struggling to breathe.  I cannot imagine that hopeless helpless feeling.

One of the triggers for asthma – particulates or other irritants in the air.  For some folks, it’s pollen and control of that can be assisted by antihistamines or other allergy medications.  For some sufferers, it’s dust/dirt in the air; and for many children it is the pollution being discharged into the air by major polluters that include power plants.   According to a recent study by the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments and NASN:

Science has established that air pollution from cars, factories, and power plants is among the major causes of asthma episodes. Air pollutants that can contribute to asthma include ground-level ozone smog, sulfur dioxide, particle pollution, and nitrogen oxides. Carbon pollution can also worsen asthma in several ways, such as by driving climate change (rising temperatures increase ozone smog concentrations) and by increasing production of airborne allergens like ragweed pollen (which is another trigger for asthma episodes).  http://www.noharm.org/lib/downloads/climate/Economic_Affliction_of_Asthma.pdf


Children who live in areas of poverty are more in danger of pollution related illnesses, and that includes asthma.  Since many Latino children live in poverty, they also live with these diseases – including asthma.  Latino children are 60 percent more at risk for asthma than white kids.   Moms Clean Air Force is having an informational event – The Asthma Epidemic Among Latino Kids and What Moms Can Do About It.  http://asthmaandlatinokids.eventbrite.com/

Join the discussion, learn what we can do together, what we can do if we all raise our voices together.


photo from flickr.com


Moms Clean Airforce is presenting a blog talk radio discussion this Friday.  We’ll be talking about Asthma – this time of Latino children, who have a higher risk for asthma than other kids in our country.  The link will take you to the event invitation and how to join in.


Moderator: Ana Roca-Castro, Founder of LATISM

With Chris Espinosa, National Director of Advocacy at the Hispanic Federation; Dr. Evelyn Montalvo, Pediatric Pulmonologist; and Steph’s mom, Lydia Rojas


Asthma is an issue of social justice. With 66 percent of Latinos in the United States living in areas that do not meet federal air quality standards, Latino children are 60 percent more at risk for asthma than white children. When these children grow into adults, they are three times as likely as whites to die from asthma. Particulate pollution emitted by power plants over poorer neighborhoods  – over school buildings and playgrounds were children spend their days – triggers and aggravates asthma, which translates into missed days of work and school, visits to the emergency room, and greater exposure to dangerous and expensive health issues. This blog radio discussion will look at the connection between coal pollution and asthma, the connection between asthma and race, differences in health care given to suffering children, and what parents can do.

About the Moms Clean Air Force

The Moms Clean Air Force is a growing community of moms, dads and others, from all walks of life, who are defending clean air for the sake of our children’s health.

Please Join Us – Your Kids Need You to Stand Up for Their Health and Future

  • Join the Force by signing up on our website, http://www.momscleanairforce.org, so we can keep you up‐to‐date on policy developments, invite you to MCAF events, and let you know when speaking up is most critical.
  • Join the Force by sharing your thoughts and opinions. Submit a guest blog post to MomsCAF@gmail.com about why clean air matters to YOU.
  • Join the Force by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter (@MomsCAF).
  • Join the Force by taking action. Write the EPA and tell them why you support the new proposed Mercury and Air Toxic Standards.

We can protect our families by making sure that Congress hears our collective voice!


Mom’s Clean Air Force is making it easy to get the word to the EPA that we support them and the Clean Air Act.  REALLY EASY!!   Go here – fill in the form.   click.  Ta Dah!!!!  Could it be easier?  We have two days to let the EPA know that breathing clean air matters to us.  We have two days left to let the EPA know that we don’t want more mercury in our water or in the fish we want to eat.  We have two days to let the EPA know that we want our children to breath clean air and lessen the asthma we see plaguing our children.   TWO DAYS!  It takes less than 5 minutes to fill out this form and click.  Go on.  You know that if we combine our voices, we can be loud enough to drown out the lobbyists that are running around Capitol Hill, strong arming our elected representatives.

For the last few weeks, while we have been sweltering under the heat wave, we’ve also been hearing about Code Red and Code Orange days – that our air isn’t clean enough for those with breathing problems, for babies and old folks, for kids and adults with asthma.   The continuing demands on our electrical grid mean that we need to make sure that the power is being generated  cleanly.  The coal fired plants that haven’t retrofitted with the appropriate technology that scrubs their emissions shouldn’t be allowed to continue to spew out the mercury, the particulates, the arsenic.   Let the EPA know we support the New Mercury and Air Toxics Standards Rule.    Click here. 

Join us at Mom’s Clean Air Force, let your voice combine with ours and get LOUD!!


Three Days Left!

Three days left to speak out; three days left to make our voices heard.  Three days!  Three days to support the EPA.  Three days to support Clean Air for our kids, three days to call our representatives, three days to demand they support our right to breathe clean air.

The coal fired plants that are working overtime this summer because of the heat wave and demands for airconditioning are spewing out more and more pollutants.  We all want to stay cool, after all, this summer has been brutal!  We all want our TV on, our computer on, the fridge needs to make icecubes for that lemonade, we want to be comfortable.  We know how we can save money and electricity – we turn up the thermostat and open the windows on a cool morning; we turn off lights when we leave the room; use compact fluorescent bulbs…. Now we expect the power plant companies to do their part.

They haven’t.  Many of the plants are still fighting any regulation of their emissions.  The coal companies have been spending tons of money on lobbying to stop the new Mercury and Air Toxic Standards – millions and millions of dollars.  Millions and millions of dollars against the power of the voice, the power of the voices of parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, who are calling their representatives and telling them to support the new regulations.  Who do you think will win?

Our voices, speaking together are louder than even the rustle of the cash.  Our voices, speaking together, remind our elected officials that we are the ones who elect them.  Our voices, speaking together – are able to make a difference.

Won’t you join us?  Write to the EPA, tell them you support the new limits.  The more they hear, the more people they can point to when they go in front of Congress, the more people they can prove the support the limits have.  Here’s the link ,

 Join Mom’s Clean Air Force  Together our voices can make a difference.

Photograph of Coal train from http://www.pbase.com/image/35329852

In the middle of this whole budget/debt ceiling mess – we have a few more problems .  What Congress is doing to the American Military service member is one thing and they need to be ashamed of themselves (and that’s another post); but they are also trying to decimate the environmental protections we have in place.

As of today Monday, August 1, we have only FOUR MORE DAYS to write to the EPA  to  support  the NEW Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. This regulation is going to cut down the emissions from coal-fired electric plants; all those not so lovely things like mercury, which harms fetuses, infants and toddlers; arsenic which isn’t good for anyone; particulates that are so harmful to those with asthma, especially our kids.

The Coal Companies, the Electric Power Companies, and those who have decided that they don’t really care about the lungs of our kids have been spending millions and millions of dollars on lobbying to protect what they consider their right to pollute.  Our right to breathe seems to be very far down their list!  We don’t have that kind of money, but we have our voices.  Your voice, my voice, her voice, your mom’s voice, your child’s voice, your dad’s voice.

Each of us has a voice; and if we put them all together, we get louder and louder with each voice that joins us.  Here’s a way to do it.  Join the Moms Clean Air Force here.  Here is a link to help you write to the EPA.

If we don’t do it, who will?  Our elected officials?  After what I’ve seen over this past week, I’m really not too hopeful there!  We need to remind our congresscritters that they are supposed to work for us, for our families.  Not for the big coal companies and electric generators.  We also need to remind them that Green Job Creation is a positive force to lower our unemployment numbers and keep our air worth breathing.  So, are you with me?  Join Moms Clean Air Force, we’ll make some noise!


The answer to that question depends on where you are.  In my community, it also depends on where your soldier was stationed.  I happen to know people who were in and around  Mosul, so this article  in Military.com really made me sit up and take notice.   A recent article published  in the New England Journal of Medicine about cases of Constrictive Bronchiolitis was sobering.  The physicians at Vanderbilt who decided to do this study  did so because:

Epidemiologic studies in the United States, England, and Australia have documented an increased incidence of respiratory disorders in soldiers who served in the Middle East, as compared with soldiers who were deployed elsewhere.2-5 A 2009 study of 46,000 military personnel showed an association between the development of respiratory symptoms and service in Iraq, as well as an association with service inland versus at sea.

The group that was followed in this study had been exposed to fumes from a sulfur mine fire outside Mosul.  This isn’t even related to those who are coming home with pulmonary problems from the infamous burn pits that I discussed in my last piece on Military Lungs.  There are more and more questions being asked, including by Congress, Veterans Groups and other writers.

I keep wondering what else will come up.  And I’m worried, because my husband is going downrange; we have good friends who are in Afghanistan, in Kuwait – and exposed to the blowing dust that contains who knows what; exposed to the burn pits that are still being used in Afghanistan; exposed to the building materials used by the “lowest bid” contractor to construct their living quarters.

When they come home with compromised lung capacity, they are hoping to come home to Clean Air, to being able to breath without worrying about what they might be breathing in.  The air outside may not have that stench, may not have the smell of soot and burnt plastic; but is it safe?  It’s depressing to realize that this question may only be answered with “it depends”.  It depends where you are living!  Downwind from a power plant – it depends.  Downwind from a large manufacturer – it depends.

It depends on you and I taking a stand; it depends on us telling Congress we won’t allow the Clean Air Act to be stripped of it’s provisions; it depends on us telling Congress that the EPA is there to protect  all of us from those who decide their short term profits supersede the need to be able to take a deep SAFE breath.  Join Mom’s Clean AirForce, add your voice to ours!

Photograph by octal available on Flickr