Laundering your dirty air

Steve Rennie

OTTAWA–The Canadian Medical Association is warning that the number of deaths related to air pollution is set to soar, with a cumulative death toll of 800,000 Canadians by 2031.
The vast majority of those deaths will be among people age 65 and older because they are more vulnerable to heart problems, the group said in a study released yesterday.
Association president Brian Day says the number of people in that vulnerable zone will grow as the population ages.

"We have a very high percentage of baby boomers who will hit 65 in the next three or four years and then keep hitting 65," he said.

The association says 21,000 Canadians, mostly seniors, will die this year from a combination of short- and long-term exposure to air pollution. It predicts the annual death toll will rise 83 per cent to 39,000 deaths a year by 2031. The majority will die from heart and lung conditions caused by years of breathing dirty air, the study says.

However, nearly 2,700 people will die from short-term exposure this year. The study predicts the number of deaths from short-term exposure will ramp up to 4,900 people a year by 2013.

Pollution is also expected to cost the economy and health-care system $8 billion this year in medical costs and lost productivity, the study says. By 2031, these costs will have accumulated to total more than $250 billion.

The Canadian Medical Association's estimates are conservative since the study assumed air pollution will not increase above current levels, Day said.
The American Medical Association said it does not keep figures on deaths caused by air pollution. Day explained that Canada is one of the first nations to track such deaths.
Asked how the doctors can be certain deaths from heart and lung disease are directly related to air pollution and not, say, smoking or a genetic condition, the association's technical adviser on health and environment said researchers have the tools to distinguish causes of death.

Ted Boadway added the study "still significantly underestimates the number of deaths because we don't actually take any other areas where air pollution does cause cancer in other areas of the body."

Prolonged exposure to air pollution damages the muscle cells in the arteries of the heart, causing them to harden, Boadway said. Meanwhile, short-term exposure to smog thickens blood, which is then more likely to clog arteries and produce heart attacks and strokes, he added.

While the argument rages on about climate and global warming, this seems all but forgotten in the conversation. When are we here in Canada, going to take this problem seriously and set about putting it to bed?

Our country is at war and yet, that claims no where near the lives that air pollution in Canada does. Shouldn't we as citizens be doing more to push for legislation and research into the solutions?
Air pollution health issues and global warming are two sides of the same coin. Air pollution that affects the health of the population is also the culprit adding to climate change. Nitwits who commute to work in big gas guzzling SUVs are adding to both problems. Industrial air pollution that adds to climate change, cannot be good for our health.
Air pollution in Canadian cities, is not nearly the worst in the world but one only has to visit a place like Mexico City to see how bad it can get, and that we shouldn't waste time talking about it. I hope the CMA can get the government's attention on this.
no sorry wrong THREAD

ducking away slowly oopps shushhh bye

Similar Threads

Are we (Canadians) really that dirty?
by Johnnny | Jul 16th, 2009
Dirty War
by Johnny Utah | Apr 30th, 2006
DeLay Now Indicted for Money Laundering
by Vanni Fucci | Oct 21st, 2005
no new posts