I was listening to MPR a couple days ago, and this was the headline:
“The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has issued an Air Pollution Health Advisory for the Twin Cities metro area thru Thursday.
The MPCA says the main pollutant is from soot generated by vehicles, power plants and factories.
The agency says light winds and high humidity could lead to higher pollution levels through Saturday.
The advisory says children, seniors and people with heart or lung disease should avoid vigorous or prolonged exercise.”
According to the NRDC, two thousand studies in the last 10 years, have linked soot pollution to numerous serious health problems, including asthma attacks, heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer, as well as missed school days due to respiratory symptoms, emergency room visits, hospital admissions, and premature death. Infants and children are especially at risk from inhaling this particulate pollution.
Not enough is being done to improve our air quality statewide or nationally.
Scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency have recommended that the national standards governing the allowable levels of air pollution be strengthened. However, EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson is ignoring these recommendations and has instead proposed exempting more industries from the law, weakening critical air quality standards.
At the caucus I attended last Tuesday, one person put forth a resolution to reduce mercury emissions. With all the problems mercury emissions and soot from factories have been proven to cause, why haven’t we just corrected the problem already? Why do we need to resolve to make our environment a better place to live? Why aren’t we just doing it regardless of party?
I’m going to talk to my local candidates on the issue. I hope you will too.
If you are interested in reading a scary article, read the 2004 NYT article by Bruce Barcott, “Changing All the Rules” about President Bush’s executive order allowing polluting companies to be self regulated when it comes to air pollution.
Here is a link to the article: