This post was produced with support from Clean Air Moms Action. All opinions are, of course, my own.
It’s clear that the world has gone crazy. With the advancements in technology, you’d think it would give us more access to information to help make more informed and factual based decisions but it seems that is not the case. Technology means a penchant for instant gratification and as a side effect, rash decisions and willful denial of science for some. Case in point, global warming. It’s real and it exists.
My parents raised us in a place of high pollution with one basic concept in mind, be kind to the earth and the people of it and it will be kind to you or, at the very least, better. I do the same with my girls.
Since growing up in the Chicagoland area, a place where emission testing had to become a requirement when I was a small child because of all the pollution from local foundries and high traffic pollution it made me a more aware person. I have known for a long time that the harm we do to the planet is not without ramifications. We are expending our resources at an alarming rate. We are contributing to the massacre of our own race by refusing to contain our carbon footprint.
Since having children, I have become an active and vocal advocate for a better world for my children. I want a place where they can live long, healthy and happy lives. Therefore, I am 100% against government throwing up roadblocks at every turn that make it easier for our children to live in an unhealthy world. As a mom, it is my job to keep my kids healthy and if that means fighting for better laws or against bad laws to protect our children, I will.
But it goes beyond just teaching my kids to behave responsibly with their own carbon footprint. While that’s definitely a start in the right direction. I don’t have the luxury of just teaching my children to conserve electricity and water or to recycle, though we do all of those things and more.
The damage is so far gone that I have to be aggressive in my plight to protect my children from the willfully ignorant, who refuse to believe that such things as global warming even exist even though the signs are all there; even when glaciers are melting faster than ever in history, coral is bleaching and natural weather disasters are at an all-time record high.
Maybe you’re thinking, I’m a mom. I’m super busy chasing babies and driving ungrateful little people all over God’s green earth. Yes, we all are. But, I know you want to do something. You don’t want to just sit around and wait for the planet to disappear before your very eyes. I can’t live with the thought that maybe my great grandkids don’t get to live on this earth. I have a responsibility to do something while I’m here. I want to leave a positive legacy for my children.
We rely on our government to ensure so much is safe: The food we eat. The air we breathe. The toys our children play with—and so much more. But right now, legislation is moving through Congress that guts the crucial federal safety protections we rely on to ensure that what surrounds us isn’t putting us in danger or making us sick leaving us and our children vulnerable.
Two pieces of legislation, in particular, the Regulatory Accountability Act and the REINS Act—are direct and radical threats to public health that have broad, overreaching consequences. They will render agencies incapable of implementing and enforcing commonsense safety laws that have broad public support taking away the little safety net we have in place.
The REINS Act would require Congressional approval of rules, effectively giving either branch of Congress or powerful lobbying groups, a “pocket veto” on safeguards. Meaning the person with the most power makes all the rules. It may not necessarily have anything to do with what’s right, fair or best for our planet or our children.
The Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) would create hurdles to rulemaking similar to the one that kept America from banning asbestos. These dangerous bills have either already passed the House (RAA) or were placed on Senate Legislative Calendar in just recent weeks (REINS).
Why You Should Care
It’s not political, it’s a matter of safety – these “reforms” will have a broad impact in hampering regulations in a number of areas, all of which pose a danger to our families. For example:
Halloween: Do you know what kind of toxins and chemicals are lurking in Halloween makeup and costumes? Do you know what’s in your kid’s candy? Is it scary to think that any safety regulations that currently exist may be gone?
Food safety: The RAA would make it difficult or impossible to enforce standards and keep the food in our kids’ lunch boxes safe. Efforts that have been put into place to label for allergens, reduce sodium, eliminate trans fats, remove arsenic and lead from baby food/juice, label GMOs, etc. are all on the chopping block.
Product safety: These bills would undermine product safety for nearly every item our children interact with by stalling or killing future protections
School safety: From asbestos in classrooms to lead in drinking water and even the safety of the school buses, the RAA and REINs Act would make it harder to keep our kids safe in school. Protections to safeguard our children from toxic chemicals would be difficult if impossible to implement under these bills.
Asbestos: “Asbestos, an issue that many of us thought to be resolved, continues to plague schools and pose a health threat in classrooms throughout the country.” If the school was built before 1980, it likely contains some. Do you know if your school has it? http://www.momscleanairforce.org/asbestos-schools/
Dirty air and water: The rise of asthma and other respiratory diseases are drastically increased by air pollution. These bills would make it harder to keep our air and water clean.
Asthma: One in 10 US children has asthma, the most common chronic disease of childhood. Have air pollutants triggered an asthma attack for you or your child?
In fact, everyone in my family has seasonal allergies so it made me start to wonder if maybe something inside the house is off. Maybe they’re not seasonal, maybe there is something in our home making us all sick too.
Did you know that indoor allergens like dust mites, pet dander and molds are actually a cause for concern because not only do they affect allergy and asthma symptoms, they are present all year long in your own home and they only get worse when we are stuck indoors during the winter months?
With this in mind, anyone that’s allergy prone should be monitoring their indoor air quality year-round to make sure they can breathe easier. We’ve started using the Awair Air Quality Monitor. It’s the perfect solution, it allows us to keep track of dust, VOC levels and other toxins and chemicals in the air via the companion app, enabling us to make changes to our air quality and reduce indoor allergens. Think of it as a Fitbit for your air quality. It’s a small thing but it helps me to help my family in our own home.
Car safety: Would you know what to do if locked in the trunk of a car? Thanks to one survivor there is a glow in the dark safety pull inside trunks now, but this lifesaving consumer protection is now in jeopardy.
Toy/product safety: What would it mean if there were no protections in place making the toys, products like pacifiers and sippy cups, or furniture you buy for your family safe?
All of these things and more could be at risk of no longer being required and that would put our children in serious danger.
How We Can Stop It
Here’s how you and me and you (and you too, over there acting all shy in the corner) can make a difference. Mobilize to take action against the RAA & REINS Act by emailing your members of Congress via the click-to-email tool on cleanairmomsaction.org . That’s it. It takes a few minutes, even a busy mom can spare that for something so important.
*The Awair Air Quality Monitor is not being recommended by CAMA it’s just a product I love.