Health

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Access to clean air and clean water is a right.

Air pollution from Woodfibre LNG will impact public health which costs taxpayers money.

  • Even though Woodfibre LNG is using hydro as the main power source, there will still be significant air pollution during operation. Woodfibre LNG is estimating air pollution emissions of 295.7 tonnes of nitrous oxides (NOx) and 43.8 tonnes of sulfur dioxide (SO2) every year (See Table 5.2-14 of the Air Quality Section of Woodfibre LNG’s environmental assessment application).

    Emissions of NOx and SO2 interact with other compounds to form fine particles, which can affect both the lungs and the heart. Exposure to these particles is linked to increased risk of respiratory symptoms, such as irritation of the airways, coughing, or difficulty breathing; decreased lung function; aggravated asthma; onset of chronic bronchitis; irregular heartbeat; nonfatal heart attacks; and premature death in people with heart or lung disease.

    Source: Mills et al (2009) Adverse cardiovascular effects of air pollution. Nature Clinical Practice Cardiovascular Medicine 6: 36-44

     

  • A new study published in the scientific journal, Climatic Change, estimates the true social costs of air pollution that aren’t accounted for in the cost of fossil fuels and other pollutants. Social costs include the health impacts of air pollution as well as impacts from climate change. The study found that sulfur dioxide costs $42,000 per tonne, and nitrous oxides cost $67,000 per tonne.

    Woodfibre LNG is estimating air pollution emissions of 295.7 tonnes of nitrous oxides (NOx) and 43.8 tonnes of sulfur dioxide (SO2) every year (See Table 5.2-14 of the Air Quality Section of Woodfibre LNG’s environmental assessment application). Combined, that is a social cost of over $20 million every year.

    “This research shows that we need to transition away from fossil fuels not just to mitigate the risks associated with climate change, but to reduce the economic and health impacts of air pollution in general.”

    For more information, check out this easy-to-understand article in The Guardian about the study.

    SOURCE: Shindell 2015, The social costs of atmospheric release. Climatic Change.