As moms, upon hearing the news of a pregnancy, we have all been told by our OB-GYN to eliminate or minimize our intake of fish due to mercury. I made the required adjustment during those times, but since then I haven’t thought much of it. That is, until I began hearing more talk of the Mercury and Air Toxins Act that the EPA has spent the last 20+ years working on.
I am quite knowledgeable in the area of air toxins and their effects, as I have been an asthmatic since age 4, and suffered quite severely as a child. Strong smells like cigarette smoke, air pollution, and toxic cleaning products like bleach, or aerosols could send me to the emergency room within minutes. My history of upper respiratory issues forced my family to shift to greener Melaleuca cleaning products after the birth of our girls. I have since spent many years researching air toxins in an attempt to take as many preventative measures as I could for our girls. Our country has certainly not arrived when it comes to keeping our air clean, but we are much further along than when I was growing up.
Fortunately, due to the hard-working staff at the EPA and mom’s organizations, the new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards ruling aims to protect our children’s health. According to the EPA, until recently, there were no national limits on emissions of mercury and other air toxins from power plants. Toxic air pollutants like mercury, a neurotoxin, can damage children’s developing brains, reducing their IQ and their ability to learn. During our meeting, thousands of “thank you” letters were shared from children and moms across the country who wanted to express their gratitude to the EPA for making clean air a priority.
See below the astounding affects the new standard will have on prevention. How do you think the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards will affect you and your family?
|Health Effect||Cases Avoided|
|Hospital and emergency room visits||5,700|
|Restricted activity days||3,200,000|
Source: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) http://www.epa.gov/mats/health.html#impacts