Week of 5/27/19 Letters to the editor

Press readers

Clear the air
To the editor: I recently went with a friend to his medical appointment. Nice facility, very nice waiting area - except for an obtrusively offensive synthetic fragrance in the waiting area. My throat started to tighten and mucus started to build. In an abnormally hoarse voice I told my friend I’d wait in the car. I opened the window to recover, to breathe more normal air. In those few minutes, the aroma, the indoor fragrance had permeated every piece of clothing and I could still smell it in my hair hours later.
I know the great smells of clean sheets from the clothes line, bread baking in the oven and forested scents while walking among the trees. These are among a trillion smells we can detect. But, what should fresh air smell like? Fresh air should smell like nothing at all. It should be odorless, tasteless, and invisible. (From the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, fresh air is 99.0136 percent oxygen and nitrogen.)
A negative reaction to indoor air is not uncommon among those with such issues as asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities sinusitis, headaches, and more. Repeated exposure to scented air at home and work may be, in fact, sensitizing individuals to future pulmonary complications.
For years this area struggled with outdoor air pollutants from industry. In 2002, www.scorecard.org reported Lucas County was “ranked among the dirtiest/worst 10 percent of all counties in the U.S. in terms of total environmental releases.” Did we improve from that smoke-stack mentality? Many still lament the quality of the outdoor air and the quality of the water as though it’s the neighbor’s problem when looking in the mirror would be quite telling. Do we need to also deal with the indoor air quality when we go to the dentist or physician or retail outlet or church?
So why is it we do this? Do we have a right to breathe just “air," the gas that smells of nothing at all?
Personally, numerous businesses and services are off-limits because of their indoor air quality. It’s their choice to breathe chemically scented air; it’s my choice to support locations without air-additives
Options to scented air could be to simply clean the space or its ventilation system, remove the offending carpet or furniture, open windows for a time, use a water feature, open a box of baking soda, light unscented safe candles, try coffee grounds or citrus peel in a bowl, or use air-cleaning devices with filters. To freshen the outside air that comes into the house or facility, plant a tree or two or three.
For more information visit: https://www.livescience.com/44240-human-nose-distinguishes-1-trillion-sc... and https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360132316304334?via%...
Linda Baranowski-Smith

Restore democracy
To the editor: Senator Rob Portman has distinguished himself as a bi-partisan legislator. Now Americans need his leadership in supporting an amendment that will restore our democracy.
A 28th Amendment, the Democracy for All Amendment, has been proposed in Congress by a bipartisan group of lawmakers. The Amendment establishes that corporations are not people and money is not speech, allowing Congress and the states to put limits on campaign financing. The implications of passing the amendment through Congress and ratifying it are wide-ranging, affecting issues such as partisan gerrymandering, climate change, and income and wealth inequality.
As a volunteer for the cross-partisan group, American Promise, I ask Senator Portman to become a co-sponsor of the Democracy for All Amendment in the Senate. We want our elected officials to
listen to "We the People" rather than wealthy individuals, corporations, unions and special interest groups.
Linda Smith
American Promise

Pondering D-Day
To the editor: With the approach of the 75th anniversary of D-Day ponder this:
President Trump’s corporate socialism and 1 percent wealthiest welfare tax bill did nothing for the majority middle class or the economy. Instead of investing in labor, jobs, renewable energies, college tuitions, infrastructure, or health care issues, the corporations and the wealthiest invested in themselves. Overall, wages for the rest of us have changed little since 1979. (Economic Policy Institute). The result is that these issues are left for the government to solve.
As we commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, let us honor and protect our democracy and our nation rather than destroy it with greed, traitorous behavior or voting corruption.
Paul Szymanowski



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