City’s air not so great

Re: Breathe it all in!, Sept. 29.

To the Editor,

Re: Breathe it all in!, Sept. 29.

What an irony.

I stepped outside this morning to be greeted by a particularly acrid version of Harmac’s smelly pollution.

Then I picked up the News Bulletin announcing Nanaimo’s placing among the Top 10 cities in the world for good air quality.

“Go outside and take a deep, healthy breath.” Really?

The WHO study mentions only particulates. While these are obviously important, what about sulphur dioxide and other toxins?

I’ve never understood how people in Nanaimo can get more upset about woodstoves than about Harmac.

Not so long ago, an office building downtown was evacuated because of a fear there was a gas leak.

When Terasen turned up and found no leak, an employee said “It’s Harmac. That place is killing us.”

He was quickly silenced and not another word was heard.

The mayor has been quick to jump on this survey and add air quality as “another benefit … attracting people to live in Nanaimo.”

I doubt that many people choose a place to live and work based on air quality.

But even if some do, a brief visit to Nanaimo on a typically smelly day will hardly convince them to stay.

Gregory Roscow

Nanaimo

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