Moms' Concerns About the Environment
Protect Our Environment
Our moms were also fed up with politicians' ineffective attempts to tackle environmental issues, including climate change and chemical reform. "I'd love to see the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 passed," said Anna Grossman, 40, Democrat, whose kids are 8 and 3. "We now have more than 100,000 chemicals on the market, and the EPA cannot assure us of the safety of those chemicals. Only 200 have been studied properly, and yet the others are produced in massive volumes. Once they have entered the environment, they don't go away. Cancer rates, birth defects, and fertility issues are all rising." She hopes the winner of the election will take a stronger position. "We need better regulation," added independent voter Jen Rabulan-Bertram, 36, mother of a 5-year-old and an 8-month-old. "Our children are getting sick and they need to be protected."
The environment was not a top priority for all the moms, including Suzanne Venker, 44, who describes herself as a conservative and has kids ages 12 and 9. She said, "There are just too many other more immediate and pressing issues to confront, like the disintegration of the American family."
And increasingly, our weak economy is pitting stricter regulation of pollutants against jobs, noted O'Brien: "Coal miners in West Virginia have told me, 'Environmentalists care more about saving a salamander than about my ability to feed my family.'"
"I don't pretend to know how that feels," admitted Grossman. "But I believe we have the right to breathe fresh air. And I believe we have the right to raise children who are safe from harmful chemicals."