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Slow Suffocation

05 Jun 2012  |   Melissa Yeo

Tags: Clean Air, Toxics

Dangerous chemicals in the air and our household products are making it harder to breathe. A report from federal health officials notes that the percentage of Americans suffering from asthma reached a record high of 8.4 percent in 2010, up 1.1 percent from 2001. An estimated 25.7 million people had asthma in 2010, including almost 19 million adults and seven million children below the age of 18.

These alarming statistics are yet another reminder of the need for stronger limits of air pollution, like the EPA’s standards for carbon pollution and mercury emissions. The EPA’s finalized mercury and toxics act could prevent 130,000 asthma attacks every year. Increased limits on industrial carbon pollution would also cut down on smog, a major culprit behind asthma.

Clean air isn’t all that’s needed to address the problem. Toxic chemicals in consumer products have been linked to asthma, as well as to cancer, learning disabilities and reproductive disorders. With chemicals responsible for an estimated 30 percent of childhood asthma and asthma prevalence higher among children than adults, legislation like Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s Safe Chemicals Act is long overdue.

While scientists at EPA are fighting to protect families from dirty air that triggers asthma and threatens millions of Americans, Senator James Inhofe is pushing to remove EPA limits on mercury and other harmful pollution from power plants – and block the agency from taking future action to protect us – just to keep money in the pockets of big polluters who fund his campaign.

We have only two weeks before the expected Senate vote to build enough opposition to strike down Senator Inhofe’s dangerous and extreme resolution. Tell your senators to reject Inhofe’s attack on clean air.

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