Without clean air and water, people get sick and die. Polluted air doesn’t
just make people miserable, it actually makes some people sick and makes
other people die. People can’t swim in contaminated rivers and lakes,
but more than that, those contaminated rivers and lakes provide us with
contaminated drinking water and poisonous fish. But these poisons usually
don’t make us immediately sick. Repeated exposure over long periods
of time causes the damage.
For example, an alarming number of women in the United States have such
high levels of mercury in their bodies from contaminated food, water and
air. High levels of mercury in pregnant women cause birth defects. One
study in North Carolina showed that one in five North Carolina women had
potentially unsafe mercury levels in their bodies.
Another example would be how childhood asthma is increasing at an incredible
rate. Hundreds of children die from asthma each year and well over a hundred
thousand children are hospitalized. Contaminated air kills and injures
The Clean Air Act caused a significant decrease in air pollution and a
significant increase in air quality and safety. Many of the most important
protections in the Clean Air Act were recently repealed. Although the
law signed by President Bush is called the ”Clear Skies” Amendment
to the Clean Air Act, that law now allows big companies much more freedom
to pollute and contaminate our air.
If the laws allow big companies to pollute and contaminate our air, water
and food supply, you need to protect yourself and your family. Your best
defense is to educate yourself about the most dangerous contaminants and
pollutants in your community. Young children, pregnant woman, the elderly
and people with lung diseases are most vulnerable.
If you suspect that contaminated air or water is affecting your health,
consult a doctor immediately. If you’re pregnant, ask your doctor
about mercury levels and safe food choices. If you’ve already been
injured, or if you hope to stop a source of contamination in your community,
consult a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer who handles this kind of case.