Why All Ohio Nurses and the Public Should Get Involved In the Clean Power Plan

I want to speak with you today on why it is so important for the Ohio, and nurses everywhere to promote clean renewable energy and the Clean Power Plan.

Our children’s ability to breath depends on reducing Ohio’s carbon pollution. As a registered nurse and healthcare professional, I believe in primary prevention to reduce asthma and other respiratory illnesses in Ohio. Moreover, primary prevention means making sure the air we breathe is clean.

Personally, my husband is affected by poor air quality with his chronic obstructive lung disease. He can no longer mow the lawn without frequent breaks. I have seen him wheeze, become short of breath, and have to stop what he is doing to catch his breath. I have also seen children struggle to breath because of asthma attacks.

Asthma already affects 257,000 children and 832,000 adults in Ohio. Carbon and other volatile organic compounds, like benzene and methane, trigger asthma attacks and other respiratory illnesses. If the Clean Power Plan is implemented, 2,800 lives will be saved and 760 cumulative hospitalizations will be prevented from 2020 – 2030. If Ohio does not work to reduce carbon pollution, Cleveland will experience 11 more days in the summer that exceed the EPA’s air quality standards with Columbus seeing a 28 percent drop in the number of clean days per summer.

This is not just an Ohio health hazard. According to Cincinnati Children’s Division of Asthma Research, every day in this country, 78,000 children or adults miss school or work daily due to asthma. Approximately 35,000 children or adults have an asthma attack daily. Emergency room visits occur daily for 4,600 children or adults due to asthma. Asthma hospital admission will occur for 1,200 children or adults daily due to asthma, and 10 children or adults die each day from asthma.(1)

The economic cost is close to 56 billion dollars a year.(1)

The economic impact to families and loss of productivity to industry struggling to meet benefits is overwhelming. Everyone’s health will be impacted if Ohio and Senator Portman do not support the Clean Power Plan. So I would like every nurse who feels led to, call Senator Portman’s office and support the Clean Power Plan and EPA’s standards for reducing methane. Future lives depend on it.

By 2030, the Clean Power Plan will prevent 3600 premature deaths, 1700 non-fatal heart attacks, 90,000 asthma attacks in children, and 300,000 missed workdays.(2) 

References and other resources

(1) http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/research/divisions/a/asthma/default/

(2) https://www.whitehouse.gov/climate-change

(3) http://www2.epa.gov/cleanpowerplan

(4) http://www.epa.gov/asthma/pdfs/asthma_fact_sheet_en.pdf

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