My son Jesse is 11-years-old and was diagnosed with asthma at 18 months of age. It is a condition we must work to keep under control each and every day through medication and lifestyle adjustments. While we control for every possible asthma trigger for which we can be responsible inside our home, I cannot control the quality of the air Jesse breathes when he steps outside.
It becomes particularly challenging to avoid asthma flare-ups this time of year, when hot summer temperatures exacerbate ozone pollution. I receive air quality alerts on my phone each day, and I know that when hazy, hot and humid days with higher ozone smog levels is predicted, Jesse has to limit his time outside.
Having accurate information about air quality is crucial to my family's ability to manage Jesse's asthma. It is frustrating to me that the information I receive about ozone pollution levels does not reflect the latest research on harmful health impacts. I deserve to know the truth about the quality of the air my family is breathing, which is why I fully support The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed updates to the outdated ozone pollution standard.
Ozone is a dangerous and widespread pollutant, and children are exposed at higher levels than adults, because they breathe faster and their lungs are still developing. I want our legislators in Washington, D.C., to know that families like mine are doing all we can to keep our kids healthy, but we also need their leadership. Stronger clean air standards are essential to protecting the health of our children.