For the 29% of Connecticut adults who live with obesity, summer brings a difficult form of air pollution. Ground-level ozone is the colorless, odorless gas formed when auto exhaust reacts with sunlight at temperatures above 80 degrees. Ozone can be dangerous for people who have higher body mass indexes. If the pandemic shutdown were now, those with obesity and others who suffer from the adverse effects of ground-level ozone might have caught a break. Officials know that other forms of pollution dropped significantly during the early spring.
It was a 70-degree day in January 2014, and Cristin Buckley was at her daughter’s basketball game with her husband and twin sons. The boys were planning to head to Target to buy baseball cards after the game, but before they could leave, 7-year-old Ben said he was having difficulty breathing and needed a nebulizer treatment. Ben’s dad took him home. “My husband called me and said, ‘Have you ever done a nebulizer treatment and have it not work?’ and I said, ‘No,’ and at that point he realized something was wrong,” Buckley said. Forty minutes after they left the basketball game, Ben was unconscious in their driveway.
When it comes to alcohol advertisements, we could use an agreement similar to the one we have with Big Tobacco. But let’s put some punch behind it. Children are awash in media messages, and we keep missing opportunities to do the right thing. In 1998, then-Attorney General Richard Blumenthal led the way for officials from 46 states, the District of Columbia, and five territories to sign a Master Settlement Agreement with U.S. tobacco companies. In signing, tobacco companies agreed to stop marketing to young people, and the American Legacy Foundation was formed and began to discourage teens from smoking — often with edgy, hard-to-forget television ads.