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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:
POLITICAL PROP ON BOARD