More on Toxicants Thank you for publishing Ms. Hepp’s article, “Protecting Children from Toxicants” (Nov. 22, 2011). Ms. Hepp clearly outlined the risks and made good suggestions for reducing them. Many of the toxins Ms. Hepp listed can be traced to one source: air pollution from biomass incineration. Biomass burning emits many of ... Inbox
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Inbox  |   January 01, 2012
More on Toxicants
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Inbox   |   January 01, 2012
More on Toxicants
The ASHA Leader, January 2012, Vol. 17, 38. doi:10.1044/leader.IN4.17012012.38
The ASHA Leader, January 2012, Vol. 17, 38. doi:10.1044/leader.IN4.17012012.38
Thank you for publishing Ms. Hepp’s article, “Protecting Children from Toxicants” (Nov. 22, 2011). Ms. Hepp clearly outlined the risks and made good suggestions for reducing them. Many of the toxins Ms. Hepp listed can be traced to one source: air pollution from biomass incineration. Biomass burning emits many of the same toxins as tobacco smoke, but it is often colorless and odorless. The absence of smoke is no guarantee of safety.
Burning municipal waste and wood for energy, wrongly touted as “green” power, is increasing across the United States and is creating an entirely new source of dioxins and nanoparticles with multiple health risks including cancer, asthma, and neurological problems in children. Do you think the government will protect you through regulations? The U.S. government allowed lead in gasoline and paint, formaldehyde, asbestos, benzene, dry cleaning fluid, dioxins in Agent Orange, DDT and more. Its damage to humans is well documented.
The American Academy of Family Practice, representing 94,700 physicians, last year issued a letter of concern about biomass burning because of the increased health risks to humans. For the health of your children, demand that your legislators incentivize truly clean energy sources such as solar, wind, water, and hydrogen fuel cells and stop the promotion of dangerous biomass burning. Meanwhile, if you see a smokestack burning wood (biomass), coal (fossilized biomass), or municipal waste (biomass), keep children far away from it if you can.
William J. Blackley Sandie Barrie-Blackley Elkin, North Carolina
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January 2012
Volume 17, Issue 1