Saturday, 14 November 2009

Lung cancer and Thanet

The South Coast NHS has released details of the lung cancer rates in the area.

East Kent: Thanet and parts of Dover have a rating of 70 dbl.

Areas around Heathrow such as Hounslow and Hillingdon have rating from 66 down to 54. Nearby Richmond near the flightpath has a rating of 45.

No specific ratings exist for each of the Thanet towns.

As you can see – and not unexpectedly – living near and under the flight path for 747 jumbo jets at very low level makes Manston one of the most unhealthy places in Kent.

The NHS didn’t even try the ”airports are good for you” approach.

And Thanet has the highest early death rate in Kent: dying at 69 years old in Thanet and 81 years old in the rest of Kent – again a massive statistical skew.

The 106 went some way to attempting to reduce these effects: flight paths away from the towns, air monitor etc – all of which have been ignored by Infratil, KCC and TDC.

And now our councillors and civil servants seem to be aware of the problem but simply standing around “debating” or just looking into the hole.

A shuffle of job titles, a rejig of departments and a spot of buck-passing and hey presto everything’s fine and nothing to do with us.

My view is very simple: close the airport and resite all the contaminants: fuel, petrol etc with a Water Protection Zone.

Infratil in Lubeck in Germany has already cloed last week.

Still, the election in May is a long way away.

I’ve never understood either why the new dual carriageway is to be built across farmland – improving the airport boundary road would be very straightforward and cheaper and would leave funding to improve roads and the promenade and potholes. Building a wider road simply causes it fill up with traffic. Then another road is required. Look at Westwood.

Here’s an article on Mount Isa in Australia: a town built next to the largest lead smelting works and some interesting points on the views of the council and heath officials to blood tests, environmental concerns etc

The NHS weren’t aware of the outfall pipe into Pegwell Bay from the airport, the overflow interceptors for fuel, the airport built on the runway, Thor, Richboro, Gasworks etc etc.

Still no specific site data and clean up schedule for these sites. With Thor supposed to be closed in 1988. Maybe we’ll get another council debate or report rather than cleanup experts like Ecologia or EdgeEnviro actually cleaning the sites.

If you’re worried about cancer etc go to your doctor for a free blood test – one of the benefits of an NHS. Why Infratil are still flying over the towns just shows how incompetent and foolish our council actually is doesn’t it?

Maybe it’s meant to be like this.

Separately I’m interested in tobacco and there’s some information on tobacco smoking (this would also affect lung cancer although no more so than most areas and certainly not with higher lung cancer exposure levels than Heathrow).
Thanet’s smoking rate is 27% and the rest of Kent and England is c.23%.

The forecasts for smoking in England over the next 10 years are down to 15% and there’s various straightforward ways to reduce smoking:

remove cigarette vending machines – a Bill already in Parliament
off-shelf tobacco displays in supermarkets: Thanet only has 3 large supermarkets and Tesco hardly needs the profits
tighten tobacco smuggling – Dover is Europe’s largest port just down the road
conferences on tobacco reduction
increase education in schools: Kent County printers of exercise books
regear SME businesses for different product sales
increase GP training

The tobacco companies though are already regearing for Africa and Asia where smoking deaths are due to explode over the next 50 years.

Misc points:

Rmasgate Ferrty - get on with it: a superb regeration project wiht foot passengers into the towns and tourism for neighbouring towns. And where is the foot passenger minibus for the Ostend ferry?

A report on DFID spending: 14p in every pound wasted - it'll be far more than that:

Time for Change

Vote Garbutt in May 2010.

1 comment:

James Laurence Stewart said...

"Building a wider road simply causes it fill up with traffic".

I would guess that you don't commute out or in to Thanet, having hours of your life wasted by slow moving tractors and trucks. 2 lanes for overtaking is totally essential, and is long overdue.