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Saturday, October 08, 2005

A note from a New Orleans Refugee

We are getting a lot of emails here, and many of them are moving. But we felt we had to share this one:


I am a refugee from New Orleans. My wife and I decided that we can not move our 8 month old and 4 year old sons back to the city because of the long term threat of pollution hazards. We made this decision early on, before the media was really discussing the toxic issue. My father is a retired neurosurgeon and researcher and made clear the numerous dangers, especially to children, in returning to the city. While this information should be all over the media, it is not. The general accepted thought is that returning is perfectly safe. We have numerous friends with small children that have already moved back to Jefferson Parish. When we try and warn them of the dangers, we come off as nuts because no one else is talking about this. I dread to see the long term consequences on the children. Why is no one discussing this and warning these parents?

Thank you for being a resource we can turn to for truth and support. Please stay vigilant and follow this through. We are counting on you.


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You are right to be concerned about hazards in the environment. You are also right to be concerned that the major media are choosing not to let the public know about the danger.

I wrote a major newspaper centered in the heart of the hurricane-damaged area. My letter would have warned their readers not to trust simple dust masks for protection against chlorine fumes, mold, and toxic dust. The newspaper wouldn't print it. Instead, they directed me to the user forums (where, incidentally, far fewer people would see this vital information). The main message -- to GET AN OSHA-APPROVED FACE MASK (RESPIRATOR) -- is not being publicized. Unbelievable!

Rescue workers in NYC on 9-11 used those same simple dust masks, and they found out too late that they did not work. Many New Yorkers are now disabled because they relied on substandard safety equipment.

It is almost unbearable to know that newspapers and other media outlets refuse to warn their readers, listeners, and viewers of these dangers.

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  • We are the New Orleans Environmental Blog Team
  • We are a group of former Congressional staff, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) staff, and environmental group staff tracking and analyzing the news, in real time, from New Orleans from an environmental health perspective.

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