2011 Oct. 22: AK Fairbanks: Local, state work to show harm from air pollution
Local and state agencies trying to convince Fairbanks residents of the harmful effects of air pollution are launching public outreach initiatives in a for each increase of 10 micrograms of PM 2.5 per cubic meter, there was an 7 percent increase for stroke-related hospital visits for people under 65, as well as similar increases for older people and for other respiratory-related visits.
“It’s a significant increase, it’s measurable and it’s a big enough difference,” said Nim Ha, acting program manager for the environmental public health program at the state Division of Public Health. “On an individual-level basis it may not sound like a lot, but in public health those can translate into hundreds of additional visits. It’s a significant health issue.”
Smoke from inefficient wood stoves is believed to be the No. 1 contributor to the problem that has put Fairbanks on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s list of communities violating fine particle pollution standards.
“We’re going to be getting into the temperature inversions and there is just a lot of information out there that’s potentially not accurate,” Stuvek said. “It’s really to just inform residents of the health effects that come with PM 2.5.”
Information from: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com