I have never smoked and have been living with a rare genetic form of asthma for the past 67 years. I take a very expensive biological drug called Xolair every other week at an outpatient procedure clinic here in Tucson, AZ. Even with this treatment, soot in the air can cause me to have a severe allergic reaction that can be fatal. Since my condition is genetic, it also affects many of my family members including my maternal grandfather who died because of her disease at just 34-years-old.
I have spent weeks of my life in the hospital and have been denied medical insurance when staring my own business for being considered "too high risk." Thankfully, I was finally was able to enroll in a high risk IL pool for people without group coverage.
When you see your own child and grandchild suffer from this genetic asthma condition and almost die several times as a result, you begin to realize just how serious soot pollution can be for others who suffer from lung disease. People die every day in this country from severe asthma—some are even young children. These deaths need to be prevented. That is why I believe modification of coal plant to reduce the emission of deadly pollutants like soot is necessary. People should not die from pollutants like soot in 2012!