Submitted by Anthony Davis
I wish the Minister of Health would stop expounding the half-truth that to avoid becoming another NCD statistic one should partake in a healthy diet […]and exercise,
because the other half of the truth is more destructive than drinking all of the sweet drinks in the world – which was just an excuse for another willy nilly tax, and smoking.
It’s called air pollution!
As far as I understand, not having much education, all of us have to breathe if we want to live. I surmise that even the tax man has to breathe. I also surmise that the Minister of Health has access to the literature on air pollution.
In an article under the headline “Tory lobbying against air pollution smells of political corruption” in “the guardian” online dated 23 August, 2015, it states:
It’s interesting to note how readily modern conservatism degenerates into a defence of corporate malfeasance.
The latest example is the covert lobbying by the British Government to try to weaken European air pollution rules on behalf of the coal industry.
The lobbying took place in the wake of a long series of new scientific findings about the impact of air pollution on human health. If the Government succeeds in undermining the common pollution rules, it is likely to be responsible for deaths that might have been prevented. Studies show that these deaths will be concentrated in the country’s poorer communities.
The latest findings suggest a link between air pollution and the earlier onset of dementia. They appear in just one of many recent papers showing a strong association between high levels of pollution and cognitive decline. Others, for example, show a faster loss of brain volume among older people, reduced verbal IQ among young children and poorer performance by schoolchildren in attention and memory tests.
These augment a vast literature on other health impacts, such as lower birth weight, reduced lung development among children in polluted areas, asthma, heart attacks, strokes, lung and bladder cancers and higher susceptibility to both allergies and infectious diseases.
It is very strange how the Minister of Finance can push through some willy nilly tax in two months, whereas, when it comes to our health it will take the Minister of the Environment at least one year before he is allowed to put anti-air pollution laws on our statute books.
This shows that he is more interested in burdening us with taxes – which he can give away as if they were his – than his health; but I am concerned about mine and the other people in this country’s because the particulates which emerge from diesel vehicles – especially those where the engine is not functioning properly, and the vehicle lays down a smoke screen – are just as bad as those which used to afflict the coal miners as they penetrate the lungs and cause cancer.
When Donville Inniss was Minister of Health he promised us that laws against the indiscriminate burning of garbage would be coming soon. Soon has not come yet. We will probably have to wait until 2018 before such becomes part of the statute books.
I would like the Minister of Health to explain why he insists on spreading half-truths to the population of this country about not getting an NCD. We can eat as much healthy food and exercise as much as we want, but we will be only spinning top in mud if we don’t clean up the air in this country!
You can go through any community in this country and someone is burning garbage in it. This is done without a care about the next door neighbour or anyone passing through.
This is why, whenever a law against indiscriminate burning of garbage is put on the statute books, the penalty for this act must be heavy.
If you don’t care about our health, I don’t see why we should care about your pockets!
We need anti-air pollution laws sooner than later!