As a nursing student working in University of Michigan Health System hospitals, I have witnessed firsthand how the health of Michigan residents is negatively impacted by air pollution. Michigan relies heavily on coal-fired power plants for energy, yet the toxic chemicals released from burning coal are known to cause or exacerbate a variety of health conditions. These adverse health outcomes include asthma, cardiovascular disease and cancer. To put all of this into perspective, Michigan’s asthma rate is 25 percent higher than the national average, and residents suffer the 10th-highest death rate from cardiovascular disease in the nation.
It is evident that air pollution continues to threaten our health every day. This is why it is so important for the state government to support Michigan’s transition to clean energy sources through strong renewable energy and energy optimization standards.
As a future nurse, I am passionate about preventative health care and promoting the well-being of the populations I will care for. By improving Michigan’s air quality, residents will experience a healthier future and increased quality of life.
Anna Koenigsdorf is a Nursing junior.