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News: M&O Supporter Participates at White House Summit on Health Impacts of Climate Change

News: M&O Supporter Participates at White House Summit on Health Impacts of Climate Change

ATLANTA (July 1, 2015) – Last week on June 23, 2015, Crystal Garrett, a volunteer with Mothers & Others for Clean Air and a resident of Sandy Springs, joined several key American Lung Association leaders and experts to participate in the first White House summit on climate change and health. They shared their experience with health impacts already seen across the United States as a result of climate change and calling attention to the need for a strong response.

“As a person with asthma, participating in the Summit on Climate Change and Health at the White House was empowering,” said Crystal Garrett. “I was diagnosed with allergy-induced asthma at the age of 4, and clean air is vital to my health, as well as my friends and family’s health.”

Garrett spoke twice that day – once at the White House summit discussion portion and at the medical group reception following the summit. She spoke on how difficult it was to play outside as a child with asthma and about the fact that even now as an adult living in Atlanta how it is even more difficult to breathe here than it was living in her home state of South Carolina. “I was given the opportunity to tell my story of living with asthma and overcoming obstacles as a singer everyday. Helping our nation and the world realize the connection between climate change and health issues is vital.”

The Summit featured video remarks from President Barack Obama; U.S. Surgeon General Vice Admiral (VADM) Vivek H. Murthy, M.D.; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, and others. Packing the room were health and medical professionals, academics and other stakeholders. Across the country, health and medical leaders, as well as Lung Association volunteers, tuned in to hear from Surgeon General Murthy via the live webcast, and joined the conversation online. The American Lung Association also joined other organizations in issuing a declaration to reiterate their longstanding commitment to addressing climate change as a public health issue.

Climate change poses a serious threat to human health today that will only grow in the future unless we act. Warmer temperatures will make it harder to reduce ozone, and harder to keep ozone from forming. Ozone pollution shortens life, causes asthma attacks and increases the risk of admission to the hospital or emergency room.

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In photo: From L to R: ALA CEO & National President Harold P. Wimmer; Crystal Garrett, volunteer with Mothers & Others for Clean Air; and Dr. Simita Khatri of the Cleveland Clinic Asthma Center.

About Mothers & Others for Clean Air: Mothers and Other for Clean Air (M&O), a program of the American Lung Association of the Southeast, works to advance policies that improves air quality and fights climate change in order to protect children’s health. To achieve this, we partner with scientists and medical doctors, as well as parents of children with asthma or others with lung disease. To learn more about M&O and to view a complete list of partner organizations, go to www.mothersandothersforcleanair.org.