Have you ever had to struggle for a full breath of air or witnessed or experienced an asthma attack? With limited air supply coming in and going out, panic often ensues – especially for children; you become lethargic as the body tires and struggles to gain oxygen. As Registered Nurses, we are positioned to ease our patients through this type of attack, with a soothing voice, calming touch, and the administration of powerful medications to open the airways.
Fortunately, now we can ALL do something to help promote better breathing by supporting the EPA’s recent Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS).
MATS will help to reduce the air pollution from power plants, which contribute to asthma attacks and other debilitating illnesses. A 2010 study by the Clean Air Task Force illustrates the potential value of MATS, citing a sharp decline in power plant-related deaths and illness after the EPA issued the 2005 Clean Air Interstate Rule. This rule was later overturned in the courts.
Please show your support for MATS by contacting your legislators and letting them know why this is the right thing to do! The PA State Nurses Association (PSNA) supports the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards.
Nina Kaktins, RN and Ruth McDermott Levy, RN
Environmental Health Committee
Pennsylvania State Nurses Association