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Bill P., MI

Back in the early 70's while attending college in the Midwest, my wife became pregnant with our first child. After she delivered the baby, she stayed home, so I needed a better paying job to support us and still go to school. I found a good paying job at a local chemical plant making double the salary that I was making as a college co-op student, so I was forced to take it.

I soon learned why it paid so well; it was a very dangerous job. I witnessed many accidents and kept telling myself-- only a few more years and I can walk away. My second year there I was working in an area where there was a bad industrial accident. Because of the accident, I inhaled hot ammonia gas. Within the next year, I graduated and we moved. Soon after, I started having asthma attacks.

Any kind of smoke, perfume, polluted air (we lived near Detroit) I got into, I would start to have difficulty breathing. It got worse, and we eventually moved to the country, which helped some. Because of this problem, I understand what it's like to fight for breath. It's not a very pleasant feeling; you feel like you're going to die. I don't wish this on anyone.

I know if any person experienced it once in their life, they would understand and would never accept the industrial pollution that we're moving towards once again today, just like in the 50's, 60's and 70's when I was growing up, and they would be motivated to do everything in their power to stop it. Please help.

First published: May 8, 2013

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