Letter to the Editor:
The World Health Organization recently labeled outdoor air pollution as carcinogenic, thereby confirming something I’ve always believed—that air pollution contributes to lung disease. Now as I watch my children play outside, I have to wonder, how clean is the air they are breathing? And, as scary as it is, I’m afraid I know the answer—not very.
My mother suffers from COPD, and a slight change in the weather has a tremendous impact on her ability to breathe. That is because temperature changes stir up particle matter in the ozone. My mother has to stay inside until her lungs can adjust to these changes.
Some particle matter, like pollen, is a natural part of the air we breathe. But other particle matter, such as that caused by industrial burning, is anything but natural. It poisons our air and harms our lungs. And though we can’t control pollen levels, we can work to limit air pollution.
Emissions from motor vehicles, factories and power generation plants pollute our air. I realize that cleaning our air is a monumental task. Large numbers of thoroughly committed people must work tirelessly to advocate for tighter restrictions on air pollution. But I also know that doing so is critical for our health and well-being and for our children’s health and well-being. We shouldn’t have to worry that we are putting our children’s lungs at risk when we allow them to play outside.
So as a mother and a daughter and a person who cares about this community, I ask you to consider supporting The American Lung Association in its fight for healthy air. We all have lungs, and we all have the right to fill them with clean, carcinogen-free air.