Smelter, like air pollution, linked to still births

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Attention to young people who hope to work at the proposed silicon smelter in Newport, Wash., and young families living near the smelter. Be advised that “The Week” on Nov. 1, 2019 — health and science — states a study found 6.8% of 250,000 pregnant women in China exposed to high levels of PM2.5, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and/or ozone had silent miscarriages.

Researcher, Tom Clemens of Edinburgh University separately cites “a link between air pollution and pregnancy outcomes in general, particularly the risk of premature birth and low weight baby.” This often causes death or permanent health and/or developmental issues in babies born to women exposes to these pollutants. PacWest admits it will create 760 tons of SO2, 85 tons of PM2.5, and 700 tons of nitrous oxide, forecasting eventual doubling of these.

Women won’t have to work at the smelter to be exposed. These pollutants will be carried on the bodies, hair, clothes, shoes and in vehicles of people who work there to be shared with their families when they hug, sleep with, and travel with children, partners, grandparents etc., including family members with lung or immune diseases. A silent miscarriage can go undetected for weeks in early pregnancy. At that phase mothers don’t experience baby movement assuming all is well. Once discovered the dead baby must be delivered by the mother. Try to imagine that! Homes and yards near the smelter will be dusted with these pollutants as well. Is a $17 per hour career worth this risk?

BETTY GARDNER

Priest River

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