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Tiffany K., IL

Asthma has impacted my life greatly. I went from running around in corn fields in Mississippi to working in a populated area like Chicago and that's when the problems started. I had never used an inhaler prior to moving here 12 years ago, but the amount of particulate matter in my area is great and affects me badly. I now have skin rashes and eczema flare-ups because of the poor quality of air. And the numbers are growing. As our air becomes more polluted, more and more people are developing lung disease. My sister in law is not a smoker and yet, she had lung cancer due to environmental toxins. My grandmother died from COPD. Enough is enough. 

The affects of thirdhand smoke (residue on the clothes and hands of coworkers) took a toll on me. I kept getting upper respiratory infections. I was missing work or having to work remotely. This equated to more hospital bills. My doctor finally had to write a letter for ADA accommodations for an air purifier. No one should have to fight for clean air to breath.

We need to do better by educating others about the affects of 3rd hand smoke and air quality over all. It is time for government officials to do what we have elected them to do and stand up for us. My children don't deserve to constantly see their mom in an ER due to an me asthma related emergency. It is mind numbing to hear doctors tell me I am healthy overall but my asthma is what's affecting my quality of life. Or to have my entire left portion of my thyroid removed because of a growth caused by environmental factors like toxins and carcinogens in the air. I have a scar that reminds me everyday of how others neglect and lack of concern for air pollution, really effects us all. 

First Published: February 25, 2021

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