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Doctors: Kamloops deserves same protection as Kitimat

Dr. Jill Calder of the Kamloops Physicians for a Healthy Environment speaks with Premier Christy Clark at a recent luncheon in Kamloops.
September 25, 2014 - 2:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - A local group of physicians say Kamloops has no more room for pollution and wants the province to provide more funding for air quality control in our city.

Since the group formed in 2013, Kamloops Physicians for a Healthy Environment have been questioning the level of fine particulate matter already in the air and trying to estimate how much more the proposed Ajax Mine would bring to the city. The group now wants to see a study on these impacts.

“We want what the citizens up in Kitimat argued for, and received,” Dr. Jill Calder says, “More funding to the B.C. Ministry of Environment for meters and programs to guard the air shed.”

The physicians say they want the Centre of Disease Control to study the known health impacts of fine particulate matter known as PM2.5 data in Kamloops.

They note data already shows Kamloops was above the air quality guidelines for fine particulate matter in 2013 and says previous data collected by older units were underestimated prior to 2012.

A report looking at the PM2.5 numbers and how they varied using the different instruments was recently compiled for the physicians group by economics professor Peter Tsigaris and retired atmospheric physics scientist Dr. Robert Schemenauer.

“We are also calling for full health impact assessment of any new industries, such as the proposed KGHM Ajax Mine, which would add even more particulate matter into our air and into the lungs of our citizens,” Dr. Twila Burgmann says. “We should be reducing our air pollution, not adding to it. We don’t want to lose our reputation as a great place to live, raise our kids and enjoy our great outdoors.”

The group has been very vocal against the proposed Ajax Mine and even released a brochure in June outlining the ways it believes there is already enough known about the health impacts of the potential mine for it to not be approved.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2014

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