2013-08-23 / Letters

Nurse has concerns about smoke stacks

To the editor:

People tell me I’m a village mom. I’m an RN specialized in pregnancy, newborns, early childhood and human development. For 13 years I’ve owned and operated my business with my two employees, caring for eight babies, while their parents work as doctors, dentists, teachers, nurses, firefighters, etc. Last spring I traveled to Washington, D.C., with 30 moms from Maine to implore our legislators to support the Safe Chemicals Act. I told of how toxins in every family tested, even the ones who raise their kids organically on pristine islands in Maine, showed toxin levels in their babies four times higher than the level considered toxic to laboratory rats. Our babies have such high levels because they are designed to absorb everything, but can’t filter stuff out. Unfortunately, they aren’t filtering out these toxins as they get older, they’re just getting cancer.

What does this have to do with South Portland? The oil industry will build two huge smokestacks at Bug Light to burn off cancer-causing benzene – and worse chemicals they’re afraid to disclose – into the air of Casco Bay, unless we vote for the Waterfront Protection Ordinance in November. It scares me to death to think of all the miscarriages, birth defects and deformed and disabled children this will produce. There are five schools clustered under where the smokestacks will be built. Maine already leads the nation in cancer and childhood asthma deaths. We don’t need to sacrifice our children for rich men to get richer.

Melanie A. Collins

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