Understanding How Pollution is Affecting Our Wellbeing

Submitted by Anthony Davis


Pollution, pesticides and fast food are killing our children with new Government statistics revealing that the number of youngsters diagnosed with cancer has risen by 40% over the past 16 years. Analysis compiled by researchers from the charity Children with Cancer UK found new cases of cancer in young people rose by 1300 every year statistics were last compiled in 1998. The charity found this is most evident in colon cancer which has increased by 200% and thyroid cancer which has seen its cases doubled during the 18 years since the last report was released.

Mail Online dated 04 September, 2016

This pertains to the UK that, up until Brexit, was a member of the EU which has very stringent anti-air pollution laws. What do you think it is like in Barbados, Mr. Minister of the Environment, where everything and anything goes with respect to whether the air is polluted or not – especially as several people are putting forward various reasons as the panacea for reducing NCDs?

One can exercise as much as one wants, eat as much health food, and drink as many health drinks as one wants, one is only spinning top in mud if the air is as polluted as the filters in some of the stacks across the island. As the article rightly says, we cannot avoid air pollution, because we must all breathe.

I always smile when I see so many people exercising along the roads in Barbados, because they are doing something for some parts of their bodies, and not taking what is going into their lungs, and therefore directly their heart, into consideration. One sees many diesel vehicles belching black exhaust fumes into the environment, and these are the worst polluters of the environment. They contain CO2, NO2 and, worst of all, particulates which are so small that they go directly to the lungs thereby causing the type of lung cancer which those who work in coal mines contract after a number of years. Add to those the magnetites which have been discovered by Prof Barbara Maher in the brain, and we have a ticking time bomb.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) lies on one of those roads which sees a high volume of traffic on a daily basis, so the air which goes into that building will not be helping the patients there to get well. Also, people in this country are allowed to burn garbage, and anything else they feel like burning, whenever they like without the slightest regard for their next door neighbours, and those who are traversing the relative community. Those with lung disorders will be affected while travelling through any community in this island, when someone is burning something or the other, and I would suggest that those who suffer from asthma – especially children who are heading to school – always travel with their inhalers!

The Minister of the Environment, who says that he travels frequently, promised anti-air and -noise pollution legislation for this year, but it seems that all we’ll get once again are more taxes!

Yet another promise which is destined to be broken.

They say that enemies’ promises are made to be broken.

However, the year has not finished yet. He still has four months to make good his promise but, seeing that it was not mentioned in the budget, I guess that nothing will come of that this year.

Let me digress here.

The tax collector tells us not to panic because of the newest addition to the VAT, but why should we panic?

We’re accustomed to getting a new tax with every new budget.

The next problem is fast food.

I see it as a way of getting more taxes when more and more fast food restaurants are being allowed to be built at an alarming rate.

The tax collector said that sweet drinks are unhealthy, so he put an extra tax on them.

They are still the most drinks being sold – especially at fast food restaurants.

According to the same report, “burgers will remain in the colon for longer if the child does not exercise, thus increasing the risk of cancer.”

On the one hand tax was put on unhealthy foods, but on the other the tax collector removed fish, of all things, which is rated as being a healthy food from the basket of goods which are zero-rated.

Is he telling us that we had better go to fast food restaurants where we don’t have to pay so much for their fare?

Is it any wonder when more and more people – especially females – are becoming so fat?

What does the Minister of Health have to say to all of this?

Surely this comes under his portfolio, and so he should be standing up for what is healthy in this country, by making such legislation that would bring down the price of health food, because not many people can pay those prices nowadays, instead of just toeing the line.

The more people who get cancer – especially our children, and I mean really our children, not only those of certain people in our society, the greater burden will be placed on the QEH.

Another factor is the use of mobile phones.

One sees many people – especially females – walking around with their mobile phones clamped to their ears.

Some get on the bus with one to their ears and still have them there when they get off after one hour’s journey.

How much radiation comes from those phones?

The manufacturers say that the jury is out on how much radiation is emitted from them, so what does that tell us? It tells us that we should not be holding them to our ears for any prolonged period.

There’s a lot of talk about more children being procreated, but you are killing them off by not having any anti-air pollution legislation on our Statute books!

It is high time to clean up the air in this country!

So, members of this “people-centred Government”, the ball is in your court to make sure that the populace of this country can live as healthy a life as possible by putting anti-air and noise-pollution legislation in place!


  • Sulphur Dioxide and Nitrogen Oxides from vehicles as well as the many banned pesticides we still use. We just talk pretty.

    Somebody needs to tell those who train on the highway its not sense.


  • Retired journalist Carl Moore should exploit his access to the media by increasing the message about pollution. He can call Kammie for a copy of Advocate for Dummies. Instead he lurks in the shadows of BU waiting to unmask commenters.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ David
    Instead he lurks in the shadows of BU waiting to unmask commenters.
    …at least he did – before Dr. GP administered him a prescription….


  • Bernard Codrington.

    I am sure that at the individual level we can protect ourselves from many of these hazards. Do we need to legislate which foods we should eat and where we should do exercises?


  • So much legislation and the world still upside down.Even if govt implement more legislation then we would have to build more prisons to put the law breakers and the only people going to jail would be the poor and jobless who cannot afford to live by the rules and standards that it cost to repair the vehicles
    Some of us who write these articles never figure the mitigating factors and how these factors effect the lifestyle of the most poor and vulnerable but quick to ask for harsher legislation.the type which would not affect self but those who already having a hard time of maintaing a proper standard of daily life


  • http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/85185/smoke-scream

    This has been known and commented on for over a decade…..will they listen?

    Smoke scream
    AN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENTIST is advising health officials in Barbados to halt their current fogging programme. While raising questions about the possible impact of…
    nationnews.com|By Nation News author


  • @Vincent

    Are you able to pass a word along to Carl Moore to ask him to get back on message instead of advising becoming distracted with the failing of social media and the expense of its many positives?


  • David September 16, 2016 at 1:03 PM #

    Sorry ole son I do not know the goodly gentleman but I have no doubt he will respond to you in time.


  • Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Gas-fired Kitchen Ranges (AEN-205)

    Gas kitchen ranges releasing unvented combustion products into the kitchen are common in many homes. Studies show carbon monoxide concentrations in the kitchen are elevated when the stove is used without using the range hood.

    What pollutants are released from a kitchen range? The main pollutants are carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and water vapor.

    How serious is carbon monoxide from kitchen ranges? Carbon monoxide is a deadly toxin. In one study, 51 percent of kitchen ranges tested raised CO concentrations in the room above the EPA standard of 9 parts per million. Five percent had carbon monoxide levels above 200 parts per million.

    How serious are the other pollutants? Nitrogen dioxide is a respiratory irritant produced when the nitrogen in the air combines with oxygen in the burner. The high number of gas ranges, the tightening of homes, the use of gas ranges to heat the home, and the increased incidence of asthma in the U.S. suggests a link between unvented gas heaters and health problems…

    Prepared by
    T.H. Greiner, Ph.D., P.E.
    Extension Agricultural Engineer.

    What about carbon dioxide and water vapor? Carbon dioxide is a non-toxic gas produced during complete combustion. At higher concentrations CO2 can cause drowsiness, headache, and lead to a “stuffy” feeling in a home. Excess water vapor can lead to problems with mold, wood rot, and peeling paint.


  • Rapid shift to a green economy within 5yr is essential.
    Kill diesel & petrol vehicles & switch to electric.
    Kill gas/ kerosene stoves & switch to electric.
    Kill coal & diesel plants & switch to renewable sources.
    Encouraged all homes to use solar/ renewable sources.


  • Doctors call for ban on diesel engines in London
    10 December 2016,
    BBC News

    A campaign led by medical professionals is calling for all diesel cars to be banned from London.
    Doctors Against Diesel claim 9,400 Londoners a year die prematurely from breathing in toxic fumes from diesel engines.
    Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens have committed to a ban on diesel vehicles by 2025.


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