Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Reader Advises To Be Cautious About Air Pollution From Construction Projects

We received this email from an MD in the neighborhood:

The diesel fumes from the Children's Hospital construction equipment, combined with the air pollution coming out of the U District projects, is adversely impacting my health. My asthma is flaring, and my chronic illness is worsening for the first time in a year.

I would try to keep up the pretense that Laurelhurst has healthy air, but I don't want to become a shut in, or disregard everything I learned as a doctor, a specialist in public health and preventive medicine, a research epidemiologist, and a patient.

Which brings me to the topic of greatest importance. If you have small children, please consider driving them out of the neighborhood to play on days when the air looks or smells bad. Sulfur dioxide and other products of combustion synergize with allergens to cause asthma in children. I realize that driving away to play only adds to our pollution, but the air is already bad enough to cause health problems, even in adults, especially on sunny, breezeless days.

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