Gretchen Dahlkemper-Alfonso is Philadelphia-area lawyer and mother of a young toddler. Gretchen is also 8 months pregnant with her second baby. As a mom, Gretchen is deeply concerned about the threat that mercury poses to the health of her children, especially to their healthy development in utero.
"When it comes to protecting my children and taking precautions on their behalf, I do not ignore the facts," Gretchen says. "I make sure to feed them healthy food, use plastic toys and bottles that are BPH-free, and baby-proof every drawer in my house down to the last knob... although my toddler still seems to find a way to get into them!"
"It makes me angry that, despite my best efforts at living a healthy lifestyle, toxins from all angles are invading my body. The most disturbing fact is that coal and oil-fired plants release more than 386,000 tons of 84 hazardous pollutants into the atmosphere each year! I am particularly concerned with the dangerous amounts of mercury that these coal-fired power plants release into our air and water - and into the bodies of my children."
Gretchen feels that mercury pollution is a serious health issue that all mothers or soon-to-be mothers should be aware of and speak up about.
"As a Philadelphia mother, I welcome the EPA's new mercury protections that will clean up dirty coal plants," Gretchen says. "Safeguards against air toxins will protect our health, save lives, and prevent disease. Far too many mothers like me, and our children, face a constant threat from coal's pollution in our air and water."