It’s in the air
April 14, 2003
I commend you on the thoroughness of your reporting on the use of magnesium chloride and other techniques associated with winter road maintenance.
I would like to encourage citizens of the high country, and everywhere for that matter, to speak up and demand better protection of air quality, rather than to roll over and accept the lame excuse that “negative health effects cannot be proven.”
It is a well-known fact that inhalation of foreign substances, be they chemicals, dust, carbon monoxide, pet dander, etc., is not good for the human body. The only variable is one’s individual sensitivity to different elements and concentrations.
Virtually all of the substances used for maintenance on both pavement and landscaping are inherently toxic when inhaled or absorbed by the skin. Avoiding exposure is the only sure way to protect one’s health.
The government constantly dances around the issue by claiming there is no proof. Headaches, sneezing, coughing, throat irritation, dizziness, burning skin, intestinal discomfort and diarrhea are all symptoms of the infiltration of hazardous substances into our bodies.
The real issue is, how much more can one take before it leads to emphysema, cancer, chronic respiratory problems, birth defects, etc. The dryness of Colorado produces many more air-borne substances than in more humid climates.
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Take a look toward the sun during rush hour – the “haze” you see is comprised of millions of suspended particles you breathe all day long. These particles irritate the sinuses, causing headaches, and collect in the lungs, potentially leading to lung cancer (as a friend of mine who is a marathon runner recently experienced). It is no mystery why so many children and adults now have asthma – it’s in the air.
Carolyn Poissant, Executive Director
Public Awareness Institute