32 Page Rd

                                                                                                            Bedford, MA 01730

                                                                                                            January 27, 2011

Senator Scott Brown

2400 JFK Building

55 New Sudbury Street

Boston, MA  02203

Dear Senator Brown,

I am contacting you to urge you to read this letter to the Boston Globe editor, copied below, and published on January 30, 2011. Please note the reference to the Clean Air Act in the last paragraph and the necessity of preserving it.

Rising rates of asthma, and other respiratory conditions, drastically escalate health costs here in the Bay State. To be truly cost conscious, your vote must be pro health, which preserves the ability of the EPA to regulate the air we breathe under the Clean Air Act.

Please preserve our health and save money for the citizens of Massachusetts.

Thank you,

Susan Shamel
To the Editor:

In your January 20th editorial “A new culprit: antibiotics,” Yale scientists link early antibiotic use with increasing rates of childhood asthma. While potentially true, the following statement from the article is misleading:  “One of the great public health mysteries is why asthma has become more common among children, even as air pollution has decreased…”
Many forms of air pollution are on the rise. Ground-level ozone, a key component of smog, has risen from a pre-industrial level of zero parts per billion (PPB) to as high as 86 PPB during summer in urban localities, far exceeding safe human health levels of 60 PPB. Ozone is linked to increased asthma attacks, lung damage, and breathing problems.

The article also mentions a higher incidence of asthma among children in lower-income families and states that the Yale study indicates that these children are more likely to have been treated with antibiotics. Can we be sure that this is a cause and effect relationship? Perhaps the correlation here is more about lower-income children residing in urban areas and thus suffering the ill effects of air pollution at a very young age.

Antibiotic use is a red herring relative to the larger, overarching issue of air pollution. The time has come for citizens to speak out about the detrimental health effects of ozone formed as a result of fossil fuel burning, and to advocate for enforcement of all provisions of the Clean Air Act.

Susan Shamel
32 Page Rd
Bedford, MA 01730



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