Medical Advocates Defend NC’s Air Toxics Program

Aug 22, 2010

This ad was published in the (Raleigh)
News & Observer and paid for by Southern Environmental Law Center:

MAHA in the News:

A serious setback to public health (5/24/12)

Doctors to Gov. Perdue: Keep air clean, for the health of it (3/2/12)

Two Part Series on NC Air Toxics Program by Wade Rawlins (3/19/12)

On June 6, 2012 physicians from Clean Air Carolina’s Medical Advocates for Healthy Air (MAHA)  and the NC Pediatric Society held a press conference at the legislature to speak against H952 – a bill that weakens NC’s air toxics program. The 20-year old program is designed to protect communities living near industrial facilities that spew air toxins that can cause cancer, fetal death, respiratory and cardiac disease. Dr. Bob Parr of Wilmington and Dr. David Tayloe, Jr. of Goldsboro presented data on health outcomes in counties throughout the state where major industrial facilities are located, showing higher than average rates of premature death. While poor health outcomes cannot be directly linked to toxic emissions, eliminating health-based regulations will seriously compromise the health of communities already at risk.

The proposed bill H952 ultimately passed but we’re happy to say, there’s some good news in the air. As a result of a meeting with the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Director of NC Division of Air Quality, MAHA requested a slot be reserved for a pediatrician on the Science Advisory Board on Toxic Air Pollutants. The advisory board makes recommendations to the Environmental Management Commission to minimize the potential health hazards resulting from exposures to toxic air pollutants. Since children’s developing lungs are vulnerable to the effects of air pollution, having a pediatrician advise other board members on the special health needs of children is essential.

Clean Air Carolina is now actively seeking candidates to fill the slot. Meetings are held every other month generally on the fourth Wednesday at 2:00 pm. The next meeting is scheduled for Sept 26. If you know of a pediatrician who may be interested in serving in this capacity, please contact CAC Director June Blotnick june[at]cleanaircarolina.org.

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