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Lisa A., CA

Breathing is one of those things we all take for granted until one day we find it's not so easy to breathe anymore. Coughing, wheezing, pain in the lungs and throat due to asthma, bronchitis, allergies and frequent bouts of pneumonia have all been happening to me. I am NOT a smoker! I do happen to reside (for the past two decades) in one of the WORST ranking areas for air quality in the USA—Bakersfield, CA!

If I could afford to live someplace healthier, I would have moved long ago. Like most people in this city, I am stuck here. The saddest and scariest thing is that many children are being diagnosed with asthma and related problems at younger ages each year.

Yet, the local businesses and industry leaders are continuously fighting against the regulations already in place. They want the rules and restrictions relaxed as much as possible! It is ABSURD and truly disgusting how much more value is placed upon the "bottom line" of big business and how little value is placed upon human lives and quality of life in general! We ALL need to fight for clean air. We need clean air and we need it NOW!

First published: February 15, 2012

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