In a recent letter to the United States Senate Subcommittee on Children’s Health, 3 prominent physicians in their respective fields outline some of the concerns that we as a community and as a nation should be VERY concerned about. READ THE ENTIRE LETTER HERE.
- William Sammons, M.D. Board Certified Pediatrician – Subspecialty Certified in Behavioral and Developmental Pediatrics
- William Blackey, M.D. Elkin, N.C. - Board Certified in Family Medicine
- Ronald Saff, M.D. Tallahassee, FL. – Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Allergy-Immunology
“…….I write to inform you of the harm to children’s health from biomass burning, which is being promoted and subsidized under the Energy and Public Works Committee’s Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act (CEJAPA) as a method of producing electricity in lieu of burning coal.”
“On October 14, 2009, the Hampden County Medical Society (MA) published formal opposition to the construction of the Russell (MA) 50 MW wood burning biomass plant on the grounds that it presents an unacceptable public health risk. [A copy of the letter is enclosed]. Similarly, on July 14, 2006, the American Lung Association of Massachusetts stated “serious concerns” about the “significant impact of this project [Russell Biomass wood burning plant] on air quality”[enclosed]. The Florida Medical Association issued Resolution 08-21 urging its state government to adopt policies to minimize the approval of new incinerators such as biomass burners [enclosed]. The Oregon Chapter of the American Lung Association has also come out against biomass combustion [enclosed]. These are only some of the public statements from professionals around the country documenting biomass burning and renewable energy incinerators as a source of a new and growing public health threat.”
“At a time when our nation is struggling to meet the challenges of rising health care costs, the U.S. Senate climate change legislation provides federal taxpayer money to subsidize and promote biomass burning to generate energy. The consequence will be the increased incidence and severity of multiple cardiopulmonary diseases, premature birth, developmental disabilities, and cancer.
“Because biomass burning is considered a renewable energy project, the federal government can pay as much as 65% of the capital cost through tax subsidies. the Americans pay more for the electricity generated by biomass power because it is considered “renewable.” The premium should be paid only for “clean” energy.”
“At a time when the Senate is debating health care reform legislation, it would be ironic indeed if that same body also chose to act in a way that harms public health and raises health care costs. Our young children will bear both the financial and personal health legacy of the provisions in CEJAPA that underwrite biomass burning; the consequences for them will last a lifetime.”
“The particulate matter from biomass burning, especially PM 2.5 and nanoparticulate matter, is an air pollutant associated with asthma, heart disease, and cancer, for which no safe level is known. Information on the hazards of particulate pollution is available from EPA at http://www.epa.gov/particulates.”
“In the realm of respiratory disease, recent findings show that the exposure to higher levels of ozone and particulate matter cause asthma in children (Lancet. 2002 Feb 2;359(9304):386-91). Previous data, on shorter exposures at lower levels, showed that symptoms were aggravated and/or prolonged (JAMA, 2003; 290:1859-1867), but now the evidence shows that such exposure for greater duration at levels already occurring is causative.”
“By subsidizing biomass burning, CEJAPA will harm the public health by causing an increase in air pollution emissions, particularly particulate matter, and ground level ozone that cause asthma in children.”
- Dr. William Sammons – Cambridge, MA, Dr. Ronald Saff – Tallahassee, FL, Dr. William Blackley, NC, in a letter to