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Air Pollution Not Given Due Importance

by Medindia Content Team on July 5, 2006 at 1:14 PM
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Air Pollution Not Given Due Importance

Air pollution is slowly emerging as a deadly public health emergency crisis. It is a rising killer in the 21st century.

Statistics show that every year about 5,000 people die prematurely in Canada's 11 largest cities. The number of victims who succumb is more in Canada than breast cancer, prostate cancer, or motor vehicle accidents. The Ontario's Ministry of the Environment said that the air quality index (AQI) in Hamilton was 67. On an average a reading of 50 or above is considered to be very bad.

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They identified the culprit as the fine particulate matter which is mainly contributed by the automobiles. The Hamilton Spectator reported that Hamilton had the worst air in all of Ontario which is going to extend for the next couple of days. Hamilton's hospitals also reported an increase in the patients coming in to its emergency rooms with respiratory ailments. Laurel Broten, Ontario's Environment Minister, said that air pollution is a very costly affair and the province spends millions of dollars in maintaining the air quality.

According to Hamilton's Social and Health department recently there is an increase in the occurrence of smog. But aggressive measures have to be addressed regarding the issue of smog and fine particulate matter. Hamilton's Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Elizabeth Richardson said that a complete ban called the blanket ban should be enforced with penalties on non-essential driving and motor use. She said that unwanted usage of vehicles should be taken off the road until the air quality improves. This would improve the AQI from a poor 60 to a moderate 45 and reduce hospital admissions, prevent deaths, and reduce illness among otherwise healthy people. The Hamilton Spectator addressed smog as a killer and definitely not a source of irritant.

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