Letter: Fresh air or choke

Dear Editor,

A pristine mountain fresh air experience is what we are selling but is not the reality we breathe. We need to be committed to take better care for our fresh air, or choke.

Smoke, including wood smoke is serious business, not harmless child’s play. Carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, what pours into the atmosphere we breath are real life issues, have real impacts, real effects on lives.

Existence of the unspeakable, serious problem we have here was finally proven to doubters by way of a collector installed atop our fire hall.

Smoke is a mix of tiny, alkaline ash particulates and toxic gas vapours too: formaldehydes, dioxin, furans, maybe oily PCB residues, and other trace chemical vapours. This is knowledge not just for firefighters, compensation boards, or arbitrators and courts, but for everyday people to understand.

The by-products of stuff we burn, effluents we pour into our local air parcel is not elitist. It does not play favourites, does not discriminate in terms of adverse, local or wide spread effect. People living in the confines of mountain valleys with frequent air inversions need to be aware and able to speak up.

Failure to acknowledge and understand real health impacts as adults is folly; failure to mitigate health hazards in the information age as we aspire to grow and become a modern, 4-season international destination is folly.

Our grown-up 21st century selves need to be cognizant of consequences, of impacts, health and economic concerns now and in future for children, infants, neighbours, the elderly, for visitor stays and healthy communities.

The air we breathe is increasingly a quality of life issue. Living in denial or ignorance is no longer an option. The science in today’s world no longer allows for our apathy.

Peter Fox
Valemount, BC