Tuesday, July 26, 2011

When I saw Steve Milloy’s attack on the bedrock clean-air laws that protect Americans from pollution, I could only think of the many children admitted to hospitals for asthma attacks on days when smog levels are sky-high and children who miss many days of school because of breathing problems they can’t keep up with their classmates (“Show us the bodies, EPA,” Commentary, July 21).

I was honestly offended by Mr. Milloy’s article because I know many husbands, wives and children can “show us the bodies.” They can point to the bodies of their loved ones who dropped dead from a heart attack after breathing too much air on a Code Red day.

As a research scientist, I know that volumes of medical science document the harm air pollution does to the human body, and that the scientific community has concluded air pollution causes disease and death. I know that people living in areas with high air pollution concentrations develop heart and lung disease, which results in lost work and school days, emergency room visits, hospitalizations and premature death.

As a pediatrician, I have attended to children suffering from asthma attacks. They are too young to stand up to Mr. Milloy and his industry sponsors but their developing lungs count on the protections the nation’s clean-air laws provide.


Dean and professor

George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services


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