Speaking out for clean air
A human embryo in the womb adds 250,000 brain cells a minute.
Unfortunately, “thousands of toxic substances can cross the placenta and impair the process, leaving brain cells stressed, inflamed, less well-developed,” according to Dr. Brian Moench, president of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment.
Moench links toxins, including lead and other heavy metals, with autism, attention-deficit disorder and behavioural problems in children.
Sadly, such toxins would be released into the air by the open-pit copper-gold mine proposed for the south end of Kamloops.
The mining company, KGHM Ajax, promises to control the spread of toxin-laced dust, but all mines find this a challenge, even when using state-of-the-art technologies. To see evidence, all one needs to do is take a drive near Highland Valley Copper Mine on a windy day.
Highland Valley and Ajax are similar in many ways. However, there’s one big difference — Highland Valley is located in a thinly populated area 75 kilometres from Kamloops.
By contrast, the proposed Ajax mine would be halfway within city limits and only 1.5 kilometres from the nearest school and houses.
The mine would be upwind of the city, which means the southwest winds common here would carry mine-generated dust throughout Kamloops. The temperature inversions common here would trap it near the surface, where we and our children would be forced to breathe it.
The mine promises economic benefits including 380 direct jobs during operation. Is the trade-off worth it?
Moench will speak on Sunday, March 10, at 2 p.m. in the Parkside Lounge at Interior Savings Centre.
Also speaking will be Cherise Udell, president of Utah Moms for Clean Air.