LETTER: Debi Wagner’s letter to Port Commissioner about Airport Toxins
[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The B-Town Blog nor its staff:]
Hello John (Creighton): These comments are my own and not intended in any way to represent the views or opinions of the city of Burien where I am a councilmember.
Nice to see you at the meeting yesterday. Hope this serves as a reminder to send me the current information on bio-fuels.
I’m sending this message on behalf of Flight Pattern Kids who are adults who grew up in the flight path for Sea-Tac Airport. These individuals are all experiencing illnesses which relate back to damage to their cells with onset of immune disease and now cancer. There are hundreds of families and over 1,000 individuals who are sick. The city of Burien publicly declared the week of June 16th 2014 as toxics awareness week in recognition of the high amount of emissions we have in our communities from overflying aircraft, jet fuel odors and soot deposits on property and illnesses as a result of this exposure. We are keenly aware of the burden this community is bearing because of these toxics as I brought up at the meeting yesterday, and becoming more aware each passing day of the real danger of living near an airport.
Studies from California on ultrafine particulate (UFP) http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-0529-lax-pollution-20140529-story.html near Santa Monica and LAX airports show how the rate climbs dramatically when measured through a flight path. According to Dr. John Froines at UCLA, this will cause disease. He explained on the enclosed video that we know that diesel exhaust can cause lung cancer and the amount of UFP from aircraft is much greater than that of a diesel engine and the diameter is smaller meaning this particle can lodge deep in the lungs carrying the toxics with it that are then absorbed into the blood stream which then affect lungs, heart and brain.
For children this means permanent damage and for adults, especially the elderly, this is a death sentence. We saw this played out in real numbers of people hospitalized for lung related illnesses in our communities in surveys from 1993-1997, in some cases 50% higher than the rest of King County which already has high statistics. And we saw this from the State Department of Public Health zip code surveys of cancer deaths from 1992=1995 where brain tumors were 75% higher than expected, leukemia, breast, lung, throat, and esophagus cancers were significantly statistically above average expected.
I noted that within the FAR 150 document there were many reports of concern from residents about jet fuel deposits and odors but very little offered as a response from the FAA, Port or consultant who pointed out this is a noise study not an emission study. In one response, it is noted that FAA has tested the soot and found the deposits did not relate to jet combustion. This response is misleading. The only testing done around Sea-Tac over 20 years ago did not thoroughly examine the soot which was in every sample collected, minimum detection level (MDL) was far too high for resident exposure and no signature was established. However, a high rate of benzo(a)pyrene was detected above the MDL on a deck at a residents home in the flight path. This is the kind of chemical known to cause cancer at much lower rates than that found and was ignored in the report. Dr. John Froines points out in the video I’ve enclosed that these deposits need a chemical assay that to his knowledge, has not been done.
Flight Pattern Kids are requesting a meeting with officials in the region set for March of 2015. They would like air regulatory and health professionals, Port officials, FAA, school board, city and state representatives among others to attend. We want to begin a discussion about the impacts to our families and community and what alternatives and solutions are available.
The meeting will be held in Burien and I am hoping you can attend along with other Port commissioners and can you help by suggesting people from FAA to invite.
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