Air Pollution Is NOT Invisible Ė A Rant


by†Abbie Walston

ďAir pollution is invisible, so we donít pay attention to it.Ē

Iíve heard variations of that sentiment often, even from people who want to clean up the air. Itís an excuse, an apology, a cop-out. And it ticks me off, because it is†incorrect.

Air pollution is†not invisible. You can see photochemical and industrial smog around cities.Just take a look at Jessica Gottliebís guest post for the Moms Clean Air Force: My Children Are Covered In†A Blanket Of Smog. Take a look at†her photo, because smog is†not invisible.

Particulate pollution? Also†not invisible. You can see smoke coming out of cigarettes,†chimneys and smokestacks, and you can see†pollen floating through the air. Take a small bowl, coat it in Vaseline and put it outside for a day or so and youíll be able to see all the particulate pollution that sticks to it, because particulate pollution is†not invisible.

But what about the pollutants that arenít visible to the naked eye? Does that mean that we donít pay attention to them or take them seriously on a regular basis?†No. Think about carbon monoxide, referred to as the†ďsilent killer.Ē You canít see, hear or smell carbon monoxide, but we all take it seriously. Everyone should have a carbon monoxide detector in their home and regularly change the batteries, because we know carbon monoxide is†deadly.

We donít ignore it just because we canít see it. The same is true for radon. Radon is a leading cause of lung cancer. When we buy or sell a home, the home inspection typically includes testing for radon and many homes also have radon detectors. We donít ignore radon just because we canít see it.

And what about the impacts of air pollution? Those are†not invisible either!†Asthma?Allergies?†Autism?†Cancer?†Mercury poisoning? Sick children are†not invisible.

And so I have to wonder why, when it comes to deadly pollutants like mercury, our†House of Representatives†can play ostrich and pass the TRAIN Act. Hereís my message to the†Senate:

Iím not sticking my head in the sand, and neither can you. Wake up! You need to protect our children from air pollution.

Please join the Moms Clean Air Force to protect our childrenís health and future.


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William C
William C6 months ago


W. C
W. C6 months ago

Thank you for caring.

Bianca Strom
Bianca Loran6 years ago

not to mention all the chemtrails you can see in the skies. It's quite sad. We so rarely get beautiful blue skies anymore and I live in the middle of mountains!!

Holy Lawrence
Holly Lawrence6 years ago

Air Pollution is VISIBLE! But the stance of it's invisibility has gone for so long that I fear a change is not coming :(

John Wedderburn
.6 years ago

Great essay :-)

SLK S6 years ago

totally agree!

Shane C.
Shane C6 years ago

We need to do something about pollution before it gets worse.

Jennifer C.
Past Member 6 years ago

Noted. Thanks.

Swadeep Reddy
Swadeep Reddy6 years ago


patricia m lasek
patricia lasek6 years ago

Excellent rant!