Air pollution deadly indoors

NANAIMO: Re: Tackling climate change offers economic benefits, Science Matters, Oct. 4.

To the Editor,

Re: Tackling climate change offers economic benefits, Science Matters, Oct. 4.

David Suzuki is wrong to assert that 4.5 million people a year die from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels.

At least 70 per cent of those 4.5 million die due to indoor air pollution caused by the burning of dung, wood, straw and other biowaste in buildings without proper ventilation due to a lack of chimneys in many homes in poor countries.

The quickest way to solve this problem is to assist the poor in these nations by helping them install chimneys to vent the dangerous gases from their fires out of their homes.

For example, Bold Earth Teen Adventures of Colorado, a tour group that takes young people abroad, combines the fun of travelling with the crucially important job of chimney installation in homes on Amantani Island in Lake Titicaca in Peru.

The teens live with the family for a short time while they work side-by-side with the family installing the chimneys into the mud walls of their kitchens, giving valuable life lessons to the students and allowing the local people to have much healthier living conditions.

This is the sort of ‘boots on the ground’ approach needed to make real differences in the world.

Tom Harris

executive director

International Climate

Science Coalition

Ottawa, Ont.