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You are what you eat, drink and breathe 

Street Smarts

Unbreathable air in major Chinese cities, lead-poisoned water in Flint, Michigan, people sickened en masse by restaurant food, carcinogenic water in Security, Fountain and Widefield – scary things are happening to our water, food and air.

click to enlarge Ryan Flores
  • Ryan Flores

Ryan Flores of downtown is a musician.

Have you ever dealt with an environment-caused health issue? Not personally, but the last time I drove through Durango, the Las Animas River was bright orange with mine waste.

Do environmental concerns prompt you to act differently? I use reverse-osmosis water, and I've put filters on both my tap and shower. To avoid poisoning the watershed, I go so far as not to use anything on my body that I wouldn't put into my body.

Would you support more environmental regulation if it meant higher food costs? Absolutely. If we really believe in taking care of our air, what's more, gasoline should cost $12 a gallon.

click to enlarge Lynne Bryant
  • Lynne Bryant

Lynne Bryant of Manitou Springs is a nursing professor.

Have you ever had an environment-caused health issue? There's been several times when flooding in Manitou worsened our water quality.

Should environmental protection be a high national priority? It should be right up near the top. That includes close attention to toxins and global warming.

Does the discovery of toxins in the water in Security, Widefeld and Fountain impact your view on fracking? Yes. I lean toward caution and getting more information instead of accepting assurances of safety at face value.

click to enlarge Deb Dewey
  • Deb Dewey

Deb Dewey of Monument works in home healthcare.

Do environmental concerns prompt you to do anything differently? We have well water. I believe the water's OK, but we recently bought a distiller and I've started adding minerals. Also, I buy and eat all organic as much as possible.

What's your take on characterizing environmental protection as "tree hugging" and environmental regulation as "big-government meddling"? We spend a whole lot of money on health care [that] we shouldn't have to because of spraying our food with pesticides. Environmental protection should be one of our highest national priorities.

Would more environmental regulation mean higher food costs? It's a tradeoff I'd gladly take. Congress, for example, voted against requiring GMO labeling because people were scared into thinking that it would raise food costs $200 a year. I'd prefer knowing, however, if the food I eat has been genetically modified.

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