Healthcare, Parent, and Faith Organizations Join Together for the First Time to Discuss Health Benefits of Clean, Renewable Energy

Raleigh, NC, April 06, 2016 --( Meet, Eat, & Discover: Health Benefits of Clean, Renewable Energy, a luncheon and conversation on April 7, will bring together for the first time North Carolina’s healthcare, parent and faith organizations to explore how children’s health is directly impacted by our reliance on fossil fuels for energy production which contributes to air pollution.

Children are at a higher risk from the ill effects of air pollution, because they breathe at an increased rate and are more exposed to the outdoors. Across North Carolina, asthma is the number one medical reason children miss school. The data from the 2015 American Lung Association's State of the Air Report show that many North Carolinians are at an increased health risk from air pollution, especially ozone pollution. This time of the year with pollen counts skyrocketing, parents and healthcare professionals are seeing firsthand how the mix of pollen and air pollution affect little lungs.

“Longer, warmer growing seasons increase pollen counts and bring extended allergy seasons,” said Dr. Jennifer Caicedo, a Charlotte-based pediatric allergist. “Children and adults alike suffer from more asthma attacks and more missed days of school and work due to these issues. Air pollution is a real and present public health risk, not only for N.C.’s children, but for people living in poverty and individuals with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and lung disease.”

Last fall the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Environmental Health updated their statement, "Global Climate Change and Children's Health," which was published in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “Because of their physical, physiologic, and cognitive immaturity, children are often most vulnerable to adverse health effects from environmental hazards.”

Ensuring our energy future is clean, renewable and healthy is critical to health.

“Climate disruption affects humans in many different ways including increased allergens, heat-related illness and death from heat waves, water contamination and waterborne illnesses, the spread of vector-borne diseases like Zika virus and increased risk of displacement from sea level rise, particularly for people in the coastal regions of North Carolina,” said Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, associate professor and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. “As Christians, our faith tells us to care for and protect those who are vulnerable, including children, the elderly, and those with less resources than we have.”

This free event features three experts panelists on health and extreme weather: Dr. Katharine Hayhoe is a world-renowned climate scientist with a deep faith in God and was named one of Time magazine’s most influential people in the world in 2014; Greg Fishel, chief meteorologist for WRAL-TV, is both an author and Emmy award recipient; Dr. Jennifer Caicedo, MD, a Mothers & Others for Clean Air volunteer, participates in pediatric resident education and speaks throughout the local and state medical communities on allergy and asthma-related topics. The panel will be moderated by author Dominique Browning. Prior to founding Moms Clean Air Force, Dominique Browning worked as a top editor for a wide range of magazines, including Esquire, Texas Monthly, Newsweek, and House & Garden.

This luncheon conversation will take place 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the top floor of the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, Nature Research Center (NRC), 4th Floor, 121 West Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27603. The luncheon is free but registration is required to attend:
Mothers & Others for Clean Air, a program of the American Lung Association of the Southeast
Alison Lawrence Jones
(910) 922-0295