those pesky doctors, always grouchy

The Canadian Medical Association Journal, in its July 20th, 2015 editorial, titled “Adopting global guidelines for air pollution: protecting the health of Canadians” says a lot about laxity of standards that ought to aim to protect the health of the helpless. Children, carcinogenic, particles, VOCs all discussed. Pretty good read. Mirrored here.

Fave quote, “In 2008, it was estimated that more than 20,000 premature deaths related to outdoor air pollution occur each year in Canada. Yet, current Canadian standards for air pollutant levels lag behind WHO guidelines.”

The 2008 report here. The CBC story is pretty good too.


does it matter if there’s a bit more smoke?

Does it actually make any difference whether this proposal goes ahead?  It doesn’t sound like very much smoke after all…
A lit match in a the street isn’t much to get excited about but the same match lit in a dynamite factory will get a lot of attention.
So is it maybe the case that Smithers is already polluted, even without
NewPro?  Yes Virginia, there is air pollution in Smithers, even without the pellet plant.

How can we know this? The wood domestic heat people don’t say how much they burn (but they have in the past, there’s an estimate on that) but the permit holders do.

If we check out our favourite favourite sawmill here  we can see what they say they put out in 2014.  Look down the left side of the page for discharges to the air of cadmium, manganese, lead, methanol (no, really, I’m not making this up) and last but not least selenium. As the twitterati say, WTF?? and moreover how much? Well methanol for example is 9.8 tons. Is that a lot? does it matter? what’s wrong with breathing methanol? or cadmium? Um, Well, according to IARC, here   (NB 35 page .pdf) is the list that shows cadmium to be a  type 1 carcinogen – i.e., it is known to cause cancer in humans. There’s lots of doomer porn here for anyone who wants to follow up.

Well is this relevant? Sure it is. Even without the putative new pollution levels from NewPro (or whomever) we have a bad situation, adding more will make matters worse.