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Letter

Respect for What We Breathe Is Important

Solano County has the highest childhood asthma rate in California, yet we are still having to fight to keep Bechtel/Shell ’s gas plant from hurting our children even more. What is wrong with this picture? "Can a Liquefied Natural Gas Energy Generation Facility on Mare Island Hurt our Children?”

Bechtel-Shell has been advertising on television and newspapers that their natural gas power plant would “clear the air in Vallejo.” Not only is this untrue, but it is an intentional lie. Natural gas is not “clean.” While it is not as dirty as coal or diesel, burning natural gas creates nitrogen oxides, and nitrogen oxides trigger asthma.

Natural gas plants are also important sources of other “criteria” pollutants that have major adverse health effects - sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds, and particulate matter. Emissions of these pollutants are measured not in ounces or pounds, but in hundreds and thousands of TONS per year discharged into our air. (link to statistics). Despite what Bechtel-Shell would have us believe, emissions that are within the state “allowable” range can still have adverse effects on our health.

Children exposed to high levels of natural gas exhaust cough and wheeze more. Research confirms this. (link) Air pollution increases asthma crises - leading to increased school and work absences, increased emergency room visits, and increased hospitalizations for asthma.

Our Children Deserve Better

Our children deserve to be able to run and play on sunny summer days without gasping for breath and reaching for medication. They don’t deserve to have such a precious resource as the air they breathe sold to greedy corporations.

We don’t need polluting industry. We don’t need more asthma for our children.

Sources: California Health Interview Survey, Bay Area Air Quality Management District

…. Thanks to Harold J. Farber, M.D. Pediatric Pulmonologist,
Kaiser Permanente Vallejo Medical Center,
Member of the Solano Asthma Coalition, Member of the Board of Directors, American Lung Association of the East Bay;
Author of Control Your Child's Asthma (Henry Holt & Co, 200l)


© 2002 maggdog communications
Photos courtesy of Michael Halberstadt, Joyce Scharf and Friends of VallejoCPR
Page Last Updated Jan 8, 2003
Email: info@VallejoCPR.org