Health Impact Assessment

On Martens’ Press Release on DEC ‘studying the health Impacts – the call from medical professionals has rightly been for a Health Impact Assessment.
What Martens has said is that the DEC will study the health impacts.  NOT THE SAME THING.
Scan these sites on HIAs and be able to speak to the difference.  What Martens has proposed, a closed review of whatever data it is they have gathered,  is NOT acceptable.
Mary Menapace RN
From The World Health Organization
Why use HIA?
HIA is based on four values that link the HIA to the policy environment in which it is being undertaken.
Democracy – allowing people to participate in the development and implementation of policies, programmes or projects that may impact on their lives.
Equity – HIA assesses the distribution of impacts from a proposal on the whole population, with a particular reference to how the proposal will affect vulnerable people (in terms of age, gender, ethnic background and socio-economic status).
Sustainable development – that both short and long term impacts are considered, along with the obvious, and less obvious impacts.
Ethical use of evidence – the best available quantitative and qualitative evidence must be identified and used in the assessment. A wide variety of evidence should be collected using the best possible methods.



From CDC site: lots of info on this site and links –

For instance, this on respiratory health as example of HIA assessments:

Respiratory Health & Air Pollution
Transportation-related pollutants are one of the largest contributors to unhealthy air quality. Exposure to traffic emissions has been linked to many adverse health effects including: Exacerbation of asthma symptoms, diminished lung function, adverse birth outcomes, and childhood cancer.
Common transportation-related air pollutants include carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter. Ozone, formed when nitrogen dioxide and sunlight react, is also a common pollutant. Particulate matter and ozone are known respiratory irritants that can aggravate asthma either by themselves or when combined with other environmental factors. Recent health studies also suggest that particulate matter is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Motor vehicles contribute to more than 50% of air pollution in urban areas. The design of communities and transportation systems impacts how often automobiles are used, how many automobile trips are taken, and how long those trips are. Reducing automobile trips by increasing mass transit use, carpooling, walking, and bicycling can help reduce air pollution, especially in urban areas.
Several years ago, researchers took advantage of a natural experiment to learn about the impact on pediatric asthma of decreased traffic levels and improved air quality. During the 1996 Summer Olympics Games in Atlanta, when peak morning traffic decreased 23% and peak ozone levels decreased 28%, emergency visits for asthma events in children decreased 42%. At the same time, children’s emergency room visits for causes other than asthma did not change. These results suggest that efforts to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality can also help improve the respiratory health of a community.

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