The Air We Breathe

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Industrial Air Pollution (image: Shutterstock)

Air Pollution. Climate change. Environmental hazards. These words float around the internet, news feeds, and fill the air waves from time-to-time, but most often tends to be forgotten or takes a backseat in issues when the day is done. This is especially the case in environmental justice neighborhoods. Is it because it’s an issue that has been talked to death? Or is it all politics? Either way air issues and hazards cannot be continue to be ignored.

Just recently the World Health Organization’s cancer research division, the International Agency for Research on Cancer announced that air pollution–emissions from industrial facilities, vehicle exhaust, and wood-biomass  burning are associated or linked to some cancers. This announcement by the WHO is landmark in that it is the first time that outdoor air pollution has been deemed a carcinogen (Click here to read the full report. **note: must first download epub reader). This report is a strong nudge for environmental health organizations such as Clean Air Council and communities that are impacted by environmental hazards to take action and translate that into effective policies, strategies, and stronger environmental oversight.

Clean Air Council has expanded its Environmental Justice Program in Philadelphia from  Port Richmond into much of Philadelphia’s Delaware RiverWards communities including Bridesburg and Kensignton. The program is now moving towards organizing and education in the RiverWards communities about the environmental hazards and air quality issues in area, and to build effective policy recommendations to take to their community leaders and elected officials. We will begin environmental hazards workshops and policy workshops starting in November 2013.

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