Let’s start with the good news: You can control the air quality in your own home, or at least take steps towards establishing a healthy environment for your family. But let’s not forget the bad news: Once you step out your front door, you’re at the mercy of national policy makers, lawmakers, lobbyists and city officials.
Moms Clean Air Force, a national movement of over 132,000 moms and dads, is committed to protecting our children’s right to clean air. In addition to informative blogs, a grassroots field team and leadership circle, the group has just published a free e-book called ASTHMA TRIGGERS: A Guide for Parents, Teachers, Doctors, and Nurses. It’s a quick but essential read. Take a few minutes and get informed.
On a local level, we at Pledge 2 Protect are fighting to protect the health and safety of thousands of New Yorkers who would be put at risk if the City were to build an ill-conceived and dangerous garbage station at 91St and the East River.
Not only is this location less than three hundred feet from public housing and senior housing, the entrance/exit ramp to the proposed massive trash processing facility literally bisects Asphalt Green’s playground and playing field.
According to a recent health report commissioned by Residents for Sane Trash Solutions (“Air Pollution Impacts on Children from a Waste Transfer Station”), “The operation of the proposed MTS, and the consequent heavy truck traffic traversing and idling on the facility’s access ramp, will place thousands of children for years to come at increased risk of permanent lung damage, the effects of which will follow them into adulthood.”
More Key Health Report Findings:
How many children would be impacted?
- Over 30,000 children participated in programs at Asphalt Green (2011-2012 school year)
- Nearly 2,000 children from East Harlem and Harlem participate in programs at Asphalt Green annually
- In East Harlem, immediately North and West of planned facility, 18% of school-aged children suffer from asthma
- There are 11 day care centers and 16 schools nearby
Why are children more vulnerable?
- They are closer to the ground, where airborne elements are often more concentrated
- Their lungs are still developing
- Infants and children breathe faster than adults, taking in proportionately more pollutants than adults
- They spend more time outdoors increasing their exposure levels
- They are playing and exercising which has them breathing even faster the hazardous soot
What could result from exposure to these toxins?
- respiratory-related health effects in children, specifically associations with asthma
- increased risk of permanent lung damage
- increases in hospital or emergency room visits of 4-8%
- carcinogenic ramifications from garbage trucks’ diesel fume emissions
It’s all quite sobering.
As our partner Dominique Browning says, “We share the air.” Let’s reach out to more concerned citizens and make sure they understand what’s at stake.
Forward this to your friends and neighbors and have them sign the pledge
- “Air Pollution Impacts on Children from a Waste Transfer Station” (SaneTrash-commissioned health report)
- ASTHMA TRIGGERS: A Guide for Parents, Teachers, Doctors, and Nurses (Moms Clean Air Force free e-book)
- Twitter Chat with Moms Clean Air Force and Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (Wednesday, May 22, 2-3PM EST/11AM-12PM PST)