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Clean air essential to our health, environment

on Tuesday, 05 December 2017. Posted in Letters to the Editor, Opinions

Is breathing clean air important to you and to your family members? If it is, know that air quality as it relates to open burning in South Carolina is a serious health issue. Open burning occurs when unscrupulous site prep companies clear land for either a new or existing neighborhood.

After trees are cut down and logs hauled away the rest of the tree stumps and debris are burned in a pit dug for that purpose; the resulting smoke pollutes the air we breathe. Because of continuing growth in our state this effects all of us. SC open burn laws must be changed – also existing open burn laws must be consistently enforced with penalties tough enough to convince site prep companies not to pollute our air.

Open burn smoke is toxic. It creates ozone and particle pollution. The EPA states that ozone and particle pollution causes unhealthy breathing conditions. The EPA also states that the pollution may cause reproductive harm. Developmental harm. Respiratory harm. Cardiovascular harm. Central nervous system harm. Cancer. In diabetes, particle pollution has been shown to increase stroke and heart attack risk and likely causes early death.

We want the burning caused by site prep companies stopped. We want industrial wood chippers and stump grinders to clean up debris left behind when land is cleared.

The only way change will happen is if our state legislatures understand that the people are serious about the importance of breathing clean air. You can help by signing our petition at: www.change.org/ p/help-us-safeguard-clean-air-in-south-carolina

Kathy Capuano and Helene Kugit, Bluffton                                                                                                                                                                  Bluffton, SC

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