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CEAC Calls Gov’t On Cancer Day To Lower Residential Truck Traffic Air Pollution

CEAC was encouraged by NIWA scientist findings here, of lowered traffic air pollution that is linked to cancer because in our CEAC monitoring of the air quality during lockdown we observed the same result in Napier and Gisborne during the low truck freight export activities in residential locations.

Living within 50 metres of a major road can increase the risk of lung cancer by up to 10 per cent, according to new research on air pollution.

The study, released by a coalition of 15 health and environment organisations, also showed that proximity to busy highways can stunt children’s lung development by up to 14 per cent.

It suggests that that air pollution contributes to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, heart failure and bronchitis.

The coalition, which includes the British Lung Foundation and the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change, said the findings should prompt all political parties to commit to meeting the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) air quality guidelines by 2030.

CEAC has experienced over 20 yrs higher levels of air quality degradation as we were sampling air quality in several suburban regions when complaints of high levels of air pollution were voiced in residential communities.

Generally we were told by residents near truck routes they were experiencing high levels of black soot settling on their homes that are linked to cancer..

This first came about on Napier’s’ Marine Parade in 2001 when truck freight to Napier port increased significantly and was reported in the press widely then.

Several years later when the trucks were re-routed off the Marine Parade and sent around to Napier’s western suburbs the same result occurred there with black soot from heavy truck traffic activities were elevated.

Now high air pollution is a major problem for the health and wellbeing of the thousands of westside Napier residents that threaten the health of residents with cancer and other symptoms.

NIWA is 100% correct: “This gain could have been extended to a few hundred thousand more people if diesel trucks and buses had been removed from the city centre. This is due to the disproportionately high influence diesel vehicles in downtown areas can have on air pollution exposure,” Dr Longley said.

In Napier’s case it was “move the trucks-move the pollution problem”

Now on our National Cancer Day we request Government to lower truck freight activities through our residential Napier suburbs and balance the movement of freight by rail which is a far lower emitter of air pollution than road freight, while saving residents lives from cancer, as we are yet to learn from our mistakes; we strongly urge the Government to get rail moving freight to save the ‘health and wellbeing’ of our citizens.

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