Mom Conveys Concern About Texas Air Quality

Guest post from DeeDra Parrish, a Fort Worth homeowner, wife and mother of two children.

Last year I wrote to my Congresswoman Sen. Wendy Davis that as a Fort Worth taxpayer, working professional and most of all, mother of two, I had deep concerns about our declining Texas air and water quality. I’m not an environmental activist, but as the mother of a toddler with asthma,* I could not in clear conscience sit quietly any longer, especially after learning about the effects local gas drilling was having on our air quality.

Perhaps many of you have never had to hear the distressing sounds of a baby breathing fast and hard trying to get more oxygen into her lungs, or coughing so much through the night that she must be given nebulizer treatments.  I hope you never do.

But last week, I read that the Environmental Protection Agency downgraded our regional air quality from “moderate” to “serious” and it moved me to write again. When will we begin taking our air quality seriously enough to reverse these negative trends?

I have read many news articles quoting our state leaders’ emphasis on jobs and the economy. And yet, I also read on this blog recently that there are hidden costs of pollution, such as rising asthma and cancer rates. Why aren’t more people touting these facts? Don’t they also negatively affect our economy?

I’m a mom and I want clean air for my kids. Is anyone paying attention to what’s happening here?

*In Texas, asthma is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases, and the continued rise in prevalence rates makes it one of the state’s biggest health concerns. According to a 2007 study by the Texas Department of State Health Services, an estimated 2.3 million (12.9%) adult Texans have self-reported lifetime asthma and 1.4 million (8.2%) have current asthma. Both of these estimates are higher than the national averages. Sadly, asthma affects more children than any other chronic disease and is one of the most frequent reasons for hospital admissions among children. — The Burden of Asthma in Texas: A Report From The Texas Asthma Control Program, 2007

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  1. Posted January 26, 2011 at 5:20 PM | Permalink My son breathes ambient air fracking fumes while at school.

  2. Posted January 27, 2011 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

    DeeDra, I couldn’t agree more and thank you for writing this. After seeing the documentary “Gasland” – I was surprised to learn about the poor air quality in the North Texas area and the impact of the intense gas exploration, especially the “fracking” process and the lack of regulating the process all over the United States. We live in an area that was recently noted for it’s relatively high concentration of Hexavalent Chromium, the same chemical noted in the film “Erin Brokovich.”

    I don’t understand why these issues aren’t more important.

  3. Amity Womelsdorff
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

    What a wonderful post DeeDra! Many of us do care. We can only hope (and lobby) for the day that the State of Texas recognizes that the health of its citizens is a top prority.

  4. Jay
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 1:19 PM | Permalink

    It is time for more than talk. Talk isn’t getting anything done.

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