Statement Of Andre M. Lee
Environmental Protection Agency
Aging Initiative Public Listening Session
May 7, 2003
National Association for the Advancement
of Colored People
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Baltimore Branch, supports the initiatives to maintain and to strengthen laws that protect the environment. The following is an outline of our views and concerns which support our position:
- Our constituents live in the inner city. A study of eighty-six (86) U.S. cities revealed high levels of air pollution. These high levels of air pollution were attributed to unhealthy chemical emissions, such as: Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide from power plants. In addition, these chemical emissions form tiny harmful air-borne particles.
- Health experts suggest that air pollution affects different groups of people in different ways.
- Senior citizens: The leading causes of death in this age group are: cardiovascular disease, lung disease and cancer. Air pollution increases the frequency of symptoms that are associated with these diseases.
- Children: There is an incline in the number of asthma related emergency room visits by children who live in air polluted cities.
- Infants: Researchers found a significant association between air quality in U.S. cities and the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- Low income persons: Individuals with low-incomes and some individuals from minority groups who live in the city have less health insurance coverage which translates into reducing their access to regular medical care. These citizens find it difficult to receive medical treatment for illnesses related to poor air quality.
Generally, city residents are geographically disadvantaged because of their proximity to the harmful emissions from power plants. Additionally, cities tend to be ten (10) degrees warmer than the areas that surround them. Scientists have concluded that climate change enhances the e exposure to the effects of "global warming". The warming of the earth elevates the risk of such diseases as; the West Nile Virus and, could inhibit crop growth and negatively impact other economic, social and environmental issues.
The NAACP Baltimore Branch, supports those individuals, organizations and elected officials in urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to seek and promote laws that strengthen rather than weaken clean air protection for our citizens.