Thursday, September 17, 2009

"I'm Not As Smart as the Other Children"

My son came home from playing outside not long ago and he relayed to me a conversation he had with a neighborhood boy who is autistic. There is one thing this child said to my son that took the wind out of me.

"I'm not as smart as the other children."

I have not been able to get that out of my head. It is heartbreaking that any child should feel this way or have to live with such a disability.

I recently received an email alert from The Mercury-Free Partnership about a campaign underway to support the Mercury Reduction Act of 2009. Having read reports about the link between autism and mercury exposure, I am 100% behind it.

Now, I want to share the information with you so that you too can help protect our children from the dangers of mercury.

Below is a letter to Representative Rick Boucher (Energy and Commerce Committee) that you can sign (and edit for personalization if you wish), and fax to Jason Sabo from Mercury Free Partnership. Fax your signed letter to 310-496-1335 and Jason will ensure it is sent to Representative Boucher.

The Honorable Rick Boucher

United States House of Representatives

2187 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representative Boucher,

As a concerned mother focused on the safety and well being of American citizens, I am writing to you to bring your attention to a problem that has resulted in more than half a million American children born with developmental disorders and birth defects—mercury pollution. Each year, coal fired power plants release more than 100,000 pounds of mercury into the air each year. Once released, the mercury lands in lakes and rivers were the methyl mercury is consumed by fish and, in turn, humans.

The physical effects of mercury exposure are devastating. According to the National Research Council, mercury exposure poses a great risk to children, especially in utero, and should be avoided. The developing nervous system of children makes them five times more sensitive to mercury than adults, and unborn children can be seriously affected even though the mercury causes no symptoms in their mothers. Mercury exposure greatly affects my child’s mental development as well. Exposure occurring before birth or in infancy can cause communication and learning disabilities that may be irreversible. According to SafeMinds (Sensible Action For Ending Mercury-Induced Neurological Disorders), the autism epidemic that began in the late 1980’s is likely due primarily to toxins adversely affecting fetus and infants during development. Mercury is likely a major contributor to this toxin-induced autism, whether the source of the mercury is from vaccines or environmental mercury exposure.

As a country, we cannot abandon coal as a means of energy generation. This is why we request that you look very closely at supporting legislation this year to make significant immediate reductions in Mercury pollution. One organization that I have been working with, is the Mercury Free Partnership, an organization determined to raise the awareness of mercury reduction, and has a draft bill that offers a sensible set of limits on the amount of mercury emitted by coal fired power plants. What is important about this opportunity is that it is designed to work in sync with existing regulatory efforts and also is designed to bring in as many stakeholders as possible so that we can have a bi-partisan success.

At a time when health care is a top priority, we must consider the environmental triggers that cause some of these major health concerns. Please help us promote awareness and attention to the major problem of mercury pollution. We simply cannot wait.


You can also send a copy of the letter to your local representative. Click here to find your representative as well as his/her contact information.

Thank you for your helping in protecting our children!

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