Air Pollution Stats Filtered in Ontario

by Himabindu Venkatakrishnan on  July 14, 2007 at 5:06 PM Environmental Health   - G J E 4
Air Pollution Stats Filtered in Ontario
It is believed that the air pollution stats provided by the Ontario health department is filtered.

"Air pollution is responsible for 1,700 premature deaths and 6,000 hospital admissions in Toronto each year," Dr. David McKeown said at a news release at the launch of the air quality health index.

The politicians from the federal, Ontario and Toronto governments were putting forward a new plan to control air pollution. A new tool to measure air quality, costing around $30-million over four years, was unveiled.

The critic describes the situation much more badly than the official numbers shown.

If the figure were true, it would equate to nearly five smog deaths a day; if stretch out over just the three hottest months of the year, when pollution levels are at their highest, the smog death toll would be closer to 18 per day. If Toronto's pollution kills 1,700 people a year, dirty air would account for approximately a third of all heart- and lung-related deaths or nearly 10% of the 18,636 deaths recorded in all of Toronto in 1999, the year upon which the 1,700 figure is based. There is a reason the numbers seem inexplicably high, say critics of TPH's conclusions.

"The numbers aren't real people, in the sense that you could never get a list of names," said Dr. Ross McKitrick, an associate professor of environmental economics at the University of Guelph. "It's the kind of model that is susceptible to cherry-picking for finding results that suit a polemical purpose." Joel Schwartz, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who examined the TPH figures for a 2004 article, went further: "I think it's more than uncertainty. I think they're fake deaths. They're not real deaths."

Source: Medindia

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