My Thanks To The Doctors For Their Professionalism And Kindness
They came bearing very targeted scientific research. None of it surprised many of us,
except perhaps that Whitney Pier women have the highest death rates from lung cancer
and heart disease.
(Check out Band Mortality Study (Mar. 26 - Herald) )
Statistically Significant Results Confirm Our Suspicions: The results do indeed show that as you move from the low/reference area toward Whitney Pier, disease rates do increase significantly. We're cautioned by the authors not to imply causality here; The study does not prove that the air pollution caused the higher incidence of diseases observed, but it certainly makes a good case.
Cohort Study Needed:
Emotions ran high among the crowd at times. Many of them had seen whole streets affected by death and disease; even neighbourhood animals had died. One man angrily asked why they had not done a "cohort study" examining the Steelworkers themselves instead of just death certificates. The JAG Health Studies Working Group that had convened the evening meeting indicated that they had already requested that a Cohort Study be done. We thank JAG for their persistence on these issues.
Offensive And Misleading Last Slide
This author was offended by the last overhead in the slide presentation
entitled "Concluding Remarks"
The conclusion begged by this slide above is that "The pollution ended in 1988. Therefore the
Tar Ponds and Coke Ovens sites no longer pose a risk to the residents off the sites"
Let me suggest that the slide's authors read the book Frederick Street and maybe they will
realize why former residents like Debbie Ouellette well up with emotion when they get up to speak.
The toxic ooze is still there, and although most of the Frederick St. homes are gone, people
still live in close proximity to both the Tar Ponds and the Coke Ovens.
Until the toxic soil and sludge is appropriately dealt with, area resident have very good reason to "speak with their family doctor". Until the cleanup is actually completed, we should all follow the lead of JAG member and environmental watchdog Marlene Kane; relentlessly ask the right questions until you get the right answers, and with those answers, action.