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STATEMENT OF KRISTIN ROWE-FINKBEINER, CEO and Executive Director, MomsRising, On The Mercury and Air Toxics Rule and Children’s Need for Clean Air

CONTACT: Gretchen Wright or Molly Tomlinson, 202/371-1999
June 18, 2012

Moms’ Organization Leader Says New Rule will Help Families ‘Breathe a Little Easier.’

“The Mercury and Air Toxics Standards Rule is an important step forward for clean air.   It will protect families all across the country from dangerous toxics like mercury and arsenic and prevent more than 100,000 asthma attacks a year.

“Over the past year, tens of thousands of MomsRising members have spoken out about the need for clean air, reaching out to state and federal legislators to let them know how important this issue is to them and their families. Recently, we asked our members to share their personal stories in order to educate leaders and the public about why clean air is critical. The response we got was overwhelming.

“We heard from Laurel in California, a physician who has seen the incidences of asthma rise among her patients and in her own family. And Maureen in Illinois, who lives less than five miles from two coal plants and has watched her grandson, along with many other neighborhood children, suffer from asthma. And Amy in Indiana, who wants clean air because she and everyone else she knows likes to breathe.  Or Anne in Pennsylvania, a school health professional, who knows first hand that the rise in childhood asthma is an epidemic.

“Clean air is also very important to my family; my 15-year-old son has asthma.  We’ve spent too many sleepless nights trying to help him breathe. And as anyone who has an asthmatic child can attest, those can be terrifying nights.

“Unfortunately, we are not alone.  One in ten American children is suffering from asthma.  With the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards Rule, the more than one million members of MomsRising and every family across this country will breathe a little easier.” 

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MomsRising.org is an online and on-the-ground grassroots organization of more than a million people who are working to achieve economic security for all families in the United States. MomsRising is working for paid family leave, flexible work options, affordable child care, and for an end to the wage and hiring discrimination which penalizes so many mothers.  MomsRisingalso advocates for health care for all, toxic-free environments, and breastfeeding rights so that all children can have a healthy start. Established in 2006, MomsRising and its members are organizing and speaking out to improve public policy and to change the national dialogue on issues that are critically important to America’s families. In 2011, Forbes.com named MomsRising's web site as one of the Top 100 Websites For Women for the second year in a row.