Monday, August 15, 2011

New TV ad calls on U.S. Rep. Upton to protect Clean Air Act for children, families

KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- The American Lung Association in Michigan is kicking off a TV ad blitz and grassroots campaign aimed at Congressman Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) that urges him to end attempts to weaken the Clean Air Act and let the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) do its job of protecting public health. The ad focuses on the harmful effects of toxic air pollution and its impact on children’s health. The red carriage with sound effects, featured in the ad, will be visiting events in Upton’s district to demonstrate vividly how air pollution can affect children with asthma.

"We hope Representative Upton won’t ignore the science and facts behind harmful pollution, thus putting our children and our most vulnerable residents in danger," said Shelly Kiser, Director of Advocacy for the American Lung Association in Michigan. "For more than four decades, the EPA has established safeguards to protect public health, and it must be allowed to continue to do its job."

The ads, which will begin running this week throughout Upton’s congressional district in Southwest Michigan, come at a critical time. As chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Upton has made repeated attempts to strip the EPA of its ability to regulate harmful air pollutants. Upton this week was appointed to the 12-person congressional debt "super committee," and many fear that he will use his position on the super committee to block key provisions of the Clean Air Act.

The local ads are part of a national campaign by the American Lung Association that aims to shed light on the devastating effects of toxic air pollution on children’s health. Almost 1 million Michigan residents, including more than 225,000 children, suffer from asthma and are at risk for worsened symptoms, frequent attacks and hospitalization due to unhealthy levels of pollution.

The ads feature a red baby carriage with sounds of a child suffering respiratory distress while the red carriage stands alone in front of iconic D.C. landmarks including the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol.

Click here for a version of the ad on YouTube.

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