Enviros produce an asthmatic — but no link to air pollution

Check out our point-and-click investigative reporting skills.

The Environmental Defense Fund has (inadvertently) offered up an asthmatic for our “Show us the bodies” challenge.”

Trolling the EDF web site last evening, I found myself on its “Protecting the Clean Air Act: Clean air versus polluters’ profits; Which side are you on?” page. The page text starts out:

Last year, DeeDra Parrish’s one-year-old daughter, Audrey, was hospitalized for two weeks after a severe asthma attack.

After learning that air pollution from local gas drilling may have caused the attack, Parrish, a resident of Fort Worth, TX posted to EDF’s blog, Texas Clean Air Matters. She wrote:

Perhaps you’ve never had to hear the distressing sounds of a baby breathing fast and hard trying to get more oxygen into her lungs.

I hope you never do.

The article features a picture of shows a picture (below) of a smiling Mom and blue-eyed baby Audrey.

Betting that the obviously extroverted Deedra has shared too much elsewhere on the Internet, I turned up a 2008 blog post of her husband’s in which he writes about their then toddler son, Wyatt:

This past week Wyatt started breathing treatments and another round of antibiotics for an ear infection. He has a loud rattle in his chest, and I am afraid he may have inherited my tendency for asthma and allergies.

So Dad is asthmatic and he seems to have passed it on to son Wyatt.

A subsequent blog post by Dad announces the premature birth of baby Audrey:

She weighed in at 2lbs 13 ozs and was 15-1/2″ long. She entered the world 8 weeks before her due date…

So what’s all this got to do with air pollution? That’s right — nothing.

The overwhelming odds are that Audrey inherited her asthma from her father and her premature birth may also have been a contributing factor.

Audrey’s asthma is likely set off by some allergy or infectious agent. Maybe it’s the dogs featured in these family photos. But there is no evidence that it’s air quality — other than the posturing by EDF and Deedra.

Before DeeDra points the finger at Ft. Worth air quality for baby Audrey’s asthma attack, she ought to first point that finger at her husband and then perhaps glance in the mirror.

As to EDF, let’s just say it’s building a track record of phony air pollution-asthma links.

Finally, do you suppose the back window of DeeDra’s car carries a sign that reads:


3 thoughts on “Enviros produce an asthmatic — but no link to air pollution”

  1. Ah, Peter, you miss the whole point, which is that the child has a propensity for asthma. Raheem put forth a very sensible argument for coping with any asthma or allergy attack. First, eliminate the obvious culprits, such as allergies, spray cleaners, perfumed candles, air “fresheners”, smoking, etc. None of this appears to have been done in baby Aubrey’s case.

    The UN has the factors in air pollution backwards, in any case. The major factor is weather, as when an air inversion traps what pollution there is in place, followed by population, lack of appropriate pollution control technology, with the quality of the fuel in last place.

    Despite its recent mis-steps, the EPA’s air quality regulations, starting back in the 1960’s have almost completely eliminated automobiles and power generation as primary causes of troublesome air pollution. Now the major problem is when the weather causes local conditions that affect local air quality.

  2. According to the recent air pollution survey carried out by the World Health Organization the most prominent factors that contribute to the high concentration of polluted air are the quality of fuels used in cars and power plants, the weather as well as the population size and density. These factors are also essential for the scientists who want to find out what impact air pollution may have on people’s health. So there clearly is the possibility that the real cause of the child’s asthma attack was air pollution.

  3. When my son was born 12 weeks premature, he had potential issues of developing COPD, asthma, and/other breathing issues. I went about finding ways to find out what causes these breathing issues, and how to mitigate or eliminate them. I found that the highest concentration of “bad air” that people are exposed to is not from burning of fossil fuels, gas drilling, or manufacturing. Rather, its from indoor air pollution caused by many of the household products that are not used with proper air ventilation in confine spaces. Just think about the oven cleaning products, bath cleaning products, air fresheners, smoking, etc. Given the majority of people are not affected by to these triggers, their are those who are.

    Environmentalist don’t look at this and blame any form of energy creation from fossil fuels as the culprit. I asked myself why – why not look at what directly is causing asthma attacks, and the results show exposure to a certain trigger, which is in most cases something they are exposed to in the house.

    To what finacial gain do environmentalist have by looking at themselves first as the cause of why are they afflicted with the health conditions they have? It appears to be more profitable to eliminate fossil fuels (mainly coal), in favor of the money that will be made for use of so called green energy. And what is worse, they are using the conditions that small children have, without proof, as the reason for eliminating emissions. As a parent who went through similar type of things, I learned what needed to be done to help my child directly and did it. I looked at myself and what I was doing first, rather than blame someone else.

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