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Public Health Welcomes Lower Vehicle Emissions

MEDIA RELEASE

Monday, 3 December 2007

Public Health Welcomes Lower Vehicle Emissions and Cleaner Air for the Auckland Region

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) is welcoming recent moves by the Government to cut vehicle emissions. This will improve air quality so that Aucklanders can breathe safer and cleaner air.

The new minimum vehicle emissions standard due to come into force in January 2008 will cut the rate of pollutants pumped out by used vehicles.

ARPHS wants better health and safety for our families, children and communities. This move towards creating healthier environments comes at a time when mounting evidence shows that our health is affected by where we live and work.

“We have growing concerns about the risk to public health from rising vehicle emissions and welcome recent moves by the Government to improve air quality”, says Dr Julia Peters, ARPHS’s professional and clinical director.

Dr Peters says that, “Children are particularly vulnerable to the health effects of air pollution with studies now showing an association between poor air quality and impaired lung function.”

“It’s our job to protect public health in the Auckland region, and an important part of this work is the pre-license health and safety check we do on Early Childhood Education Centres (ECECs) and submit to the Ministry of Education. Part of each check involves assessing the ECEC site and identifying any potential exposures to harmful pollutants in the external environment.”

“Concerns about children and air quality around Early Childhood Education Centres (ECECs) are emerging as an important issue in the Auckland region. With the trend towards locating centres away from residential and into commercial and light industrial areas children may be being exposed to more emissions from vehicles and industry, and this needs considered action.”

For Questions and Answers about the health impacts of poor air quality and creating safer ECEC environments for children go to Auckland Regional Public Health Service’s website:
http://www.arphs.govt.nz/downloads/ECECAirQualityQandA.asp

For air quality and standards contact The Ministry for the Environment: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/
For ECEC licensing contact The Ministry of Education: http://www.minedu.govt.nz/

For air quality monitoring or resource consents contact: Auckland Regional Council: http://www.arc.govt.nz/

ENDS

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