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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/29/09

Pollution and lack of health care for all is the true epidemic and pandemic

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Message Mary MacElveen
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As one hears of the toddler in Texas who died as a result of this Swine Flu our collective thoughts go out to this child’s family.  However, I stand by my opinion that we are all being terrorized not only by the media, but politicians as well.  This virus does have a cure namely Tamiflu and I do not see it so far as being an epidemic or pandemic for that matter.


If one truly wishes to speak of a pandemic, not of the viral or bacterial kind: How about environmental?  Yes, you heard me correctly.  Our environment right now is doing harm to human beings which outnumber those being affected by this flu.


In reading a CBS article, they report where 60 percent of all Americans are breathing unhealthy air.


They go onto report: "Overall, the report found that air pollution at times reaches unhealthy levels in almost every major city and that 186.1 million people live in those areas." So, here we have 186 million affected by any number of ailments which are triggered by living in communities where people are breathing in harmful toxins. There is your epidemic and pandemic.


As we think of the limited cases of Swine Flu within the confines of this country, one must take this into account: "Health effects from air pollution include changes in lung function, coughing, heart attacks, lung cancer and premature death." When one hears they have lung cancer in this country, what they are hearing is their own death sentence especially if they do not have health insurance.  The treatment for not only this cancer, but others is expensive since it involves courses of chemotherapy and radiation as well as medications to kill off the cancerous cells.  All too frequently, the victim of this heinous disease loses their battle against it.


What I find startling again comes from this CBS report: "Six out of 10 Americans right now as we speak live in areas where the air can be dirty enough to send people to the emergency room, dirty enough to shape how kids' lungs develop and even dirty enough to kill," Yet, yet, who is getting on any television network and take to the bully pulpit to scream out in anger that children in this country are dying from pollution? Exactly where are the collective voices of our politicians to address this pandemic?


I noticed that they mentioned emergency rooms within their article and as we all know those who go without health insurance, often the doctors they see are within emergency rooms since they cannot afford primary care doctors, let alone pulmonary doctors and oncologists.


As the GOP which has become the part of no lately and its members more inclined to be pro-life, I would love to hear their reaction to what CBS reported: "On Tuesday, a separate study showed that exposure to air pollution both early and late in pregnancy may have a negative impact on fetal growth." They go onto report: "Air pollution, especially pollution from car exhaust, was linked to smaller birth weight in the study even after researchers controlled for known risk factors."


Back in March of 2007, I wrote a piece called, Suffer the Children of Marsh Fork Elementary School at the urging of my friend John Schwam who runs a site, LiberalPatriot.org to bring to everyone’s attention of children being harmed by our environment. 


If you are not going to read this article concerning the coal industry specifically when it relates to MTR (mountain top removal), as children go to school, it is the very place where they are being infected, yet no one screams out on their behalf.  You do not hear of their plight on the evening news, cable news around the clock and our politicians.


Contained within my article, I wrote: "In reading a report by D. Scott Simonton, PE, PhD he states of this toxic dust, “This dust has known health hazards, especially in the inhalation exposure route. I believe that the inhalation of this dust must be avoided and prevented. I believe that the occupants of Marsh Fork Elementary School are at risk from exposure to the dust emitted from the Goals Coal facility.”


Do you really want to speak of how our environment, namely pollution is a monster compared to this Swine Flu?  I wrote within that article: "Dawn Seeburger, a scientist and owner of the Charleston area-based Environmental Resources and Consultants while citing that these particles are “ten microns” in size “will go into the lungs — and because they are so small, they will cause irreversible damage. In describing the size of a micron, she said several thousand of them are about the size of a period.”


Angry yet?  Read on:


"Seeburger then went on to add, “If they are that small, they will not go to the mucus membranes and then be spit back up,” she said. “The little stuff goes deeper — and once it goes deeper, you can’t get that back out.”


I have to wonder how many of these nameless, faceless children living in Appalachia will grow up to have lung cancers, emphysema or any number of pulmonary diseases?  How many of these children are uninsured where their parents cannot get them adequate medical care?  How many of these precious little children have died as a result of coal dust?  Again, there is your epidemic and pandemic.


If you truly wish to be concerned of any outbreaks of diseases where some are fatal, they come at the hands of companies that pollute our air, our water ways and where this country still does not have health insurance for all.

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Mary MacElveen Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I am a writer who currently writes pieces for my own blog http://www.mary-macelveen.blogspot.com I have been published by Buzzflash.com, TheLiberalPatriot.org and MikeHersh.com. I was a guest on the Jay Diamond Radio Show on WRKO in Boston and have (more...)
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