Sept. 9, 2014

Fine Particulates in Kamloops Air have Exceeded the B.C. Planning Goal for Years. Kamloops Physicians for a Healthy Environment Society Calls for a Study of the Impacts this May have had on the Health of the People of Kamloops and States there is No Room for Major New Pollution Sources.

The British Columbia air quality guideline for fine particulate matter (annual average PM2.5) reached the provincial maximum in Kamloops in 2012 and exceeded it in 2013. These data were obtained using the new internationally accepted BAM instruments. It is widely accepted that the data obtained from the previously used TEOM instruments must be adjusted upwards to conform to the BAM data. In a comprehensive statistical analysis, the examination of data obtained by the older units confirms that previous PM2.5 levels were severely underestimated in Kamloops. This is important because of the huge body of literature linking air pollution to negative health impacts. Asthma, COPD, heart attacks, strokes, cancers, birth defects - all of which cause mortality - and are recognized to increase with air pollution spikes.

Dr. Peter Tsigaris (Ph.D.) and Dr. Robert Schemenauer (Ph.D.) prepared a report for the Kamloops Physicians for a Healthy Environment Society, "Reconstructing the Historic Database of Annual PM2.5 Values for Kamloops, B.C. by Calculating the Offset between TEOM and BAM Measurements", 25 July 2014. The study is available on the website: www.kphe.ca/TEOM-BAM-Database-Adjustment-Sep2014.pdf. It is the basis for this Press Release.

Industrial development in the context of compromised air quality is a major concern of the Kamloops Physicians Group. Its members are calling for the Centre of Disease Control BC to study known health impacts and correlations with BC Ministry of the Environment PM2.5 data in Kamloops. Dr. Jill Calder stated: "We want what the citizens up in Kitimat argued for and received - more funding to the BC Ministry of the Environment for meters and programs to guard the air shed." Dr. Twila Burgmann said: "We are also calling for full health impact assessment of any new industries, such as the proposed KGHM Ajax mine which would add even more particulate matter into our air and into the lungs of our citizens. We should be reducing our air pollution not adding to it. We don't want to lose our reputation as a great place to live, raise our kids, and enjoy our great outdoors".