Statement Of Betty Kelly
Environmental Protection Agency
Aging Initiative Public Listening Session
Iowa City, Iowa
April 15, 2003
I am Betty Kelly, and I am definitely a senior citizen. One of the things that has not been said this afternoon, after listening almost two hours, is the fact that EPA is not pro-active. Dioxin, treated wood, the type of fertilizers that lawn care companies use, these are not subjects that have been covered and they are just as detrimental to us. When you talk about research into environmental health, these are definitely ones. Even what you give your cat or dog for fleas is very dangerous to you. I am an organic gardener and tend three, very large historic gardens. They are organic. When we see a bug, we squash it, or we use tobacco juice. There are a lot of things that we, as individuals, could do. We don't have to depend entirely on the EPA. We could start cleaning up our own acts. One of the things you also mentioned was to encourage older adults - we are here - we don't always have free time - this is my third meeting today, and I have two more to go to. I am retired. What I wanted to stress to you is that you can use older adults, these are the people who can identify these concerns but we need clear cut, honest facts from you. We are often very confused. We read about the Clean Air Act, we read about all the other things that are going on. Every time I hear about a child who dies from contaminated meat. Or I read about someone who is suffering from asthma. There is a family in Iowa that had to move out of their house due to insulating materials just this week. These are things that I want to call to the attention of the EPA. You need to be proactive. I am a member of the American Association of Textile Methods and the Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists. We knew fifty years ago what things were being done to our waters. We couldn't convince some of the industry to change it. Government had to step in. You are cleaning up some of these waters. We need to do things ahead of time rather than killing ourselves afterwards. I stress this to you. Use your research. Clean up these very detrimental types of things that are going on in our environment locally, in our cities and small towns. Thank you for coming and giving me the time to speak.