Public protections – or the lack of them – have real consequences for people. This page contains a full collection of stories about the benefits of public safeguards and the consequences of a lack of strong standards from the perspective of real people. The details of each story are different, but the message is the same: We need a strong safety net to keep our air and water clean, our food and workplaces safe, our toys lead-free and so much more.
Allison Kellenberger, RN
In my job as a registered nurse, breathing is on the "assess first" list. If you can't breathe, there is nothing more to do to save your life. As nursing students, we were told not to wear cologne or strong scents in our profession because it could harm patients if they breathe it. When I started in the intensive care unit 18 years ago, I saw many asthma patients come in, and some of them left in body bags. I never realized how deadly a disease it could be.
Then, 15 years ago, my son was diagnosed with asthma and I watched him struggle with it for the first 10 years of his life. Asthma affects more and more people each year and why? Because the air we breathe is more and more polluted.
Thanks to Earthjustice and the American Nursing Association for connecting us with Allison.
- [CA] Gilbert Vargas died in the line of duty (LA Times story)
- [CA] Wendy Shurelds on the Crucial Nature of Workplace Safety Protections
- [CT] Mark Mitchell on Air Pollution, Asthma, and Environmental Justice
- [FL] Colette Dzaidul on Foodborne Illness: A Foodborne Illness Nearly Killed My Daughter
- [GA] Margo Moskowitz on the Importance of Food Safety
- [IL] Fines Slashed in Grain Bin Entrapment Deaths (National Public Radio story)
- [LA] Rev. Kristina Peterson on the Importance of Air Qualilty and the Need for Corporate Accountability
- [MD] Ed Slattery on the Importance of Highway Safety Standards
- [MN] Melissa Castino Reid on the Importance of Food Safety Standards and Holding Corporations Accountable
- [MO] Allison Kellenberger on Asthma and the Importance of Clean Air Standards
- [MO] Diane Lillicrap on the Importance of Workplace Safety Standards
- [MT] Aimee McQuilkin, Small Business Owner, on the Importance of Public Protections
- [NE] Tonya Ford on the Importance of Workplace Safety Protections
- [NV] Debi Koehler-Fergen on the Importance of Workplace Safety Standards
- [NV] Marychris Rodriguez on the Crucial Nature of Workplace Safety Protections
- [NY] At chicken plants, chemicals blamed for health ailments are poised to proliferate (Washington Post story)
- [NY] Jordan Motzkin, Small Business Owner, on the Importance of Public Protections
- [OH] Belinda Brooks on Financial Security
- [OR] Jose Gonzalez, Small Business Owner, on the Importance of Public Protections
- [PA] Holly Shaw-Hollis on the Importance of Workplace Safety Protections
- [PA] Mike Krajovic, Economic Development Professional, on the Importance of Public Protections
- [TX] Catherine Rylatt on Protecting Young Workers from Tragedy
- [TX] Jennifer Ornelas and Katherine Rodriguez on the Importance of Workplace Safety
- [WA] Makini Howell, Small Business Owner, on the Importance of Public Protections
- [WI] Jillian Castro on the Importance of Food Safety Standards
- [WV] Carol Warren on the Importance of Clean Air and Fossil Fuel Extraction Rules