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Enviro-Mich message from Citizens Environment Alliance <cea@mnsi.net>


If Smog is any indicator of our area's economic success, then business is
definitely booming! On April 30, 2002, the "Clean Air" section of
Environment Canada's website asserted "The summer smog capital of Canada is
Windsor, and it averages more than 30 smog advisory days a year."

So, what do we do? Hold our breath for four months?

The Citizens Environment Alliance invites you to join us as we herald a new
smog season. The first of May is the day typically recognized as the
beginning of the Smog Season in Ontario.  Here at the CEA we like to think
of the beginning of the Smog Season as a kind of New Year…so this year
we're ringing it in with plenty of noise…

SmogFest 2002

Three-quarters of Canadians have called for the ratification of the Kyoto
Protocol; studies proclaim the dismal details of Windsor's health, and
frustrated mothers of asthmatic children beg for answers and action….. But
apparently "economic progress" matters more than the people's will or their
collective health. The trucks keep rolling, industries keep polluting.

CEA Executive Director Shawn Hupka shakes his head as he relates, "SmogFest
is bound to prove far too relevant…Windsor is sadly the perfect venue for a
festival of smog."

"We've been getting increasingly frustrated by the lack of positive
environmental action from local industry and politicians," comments
longtime CEA activist Sarah Atkinson.  "That's why we're having SmogFest -
it's an irreverent celebration of smog. Of course, we'd love it to be our
last - but we're pretty sure this will become an annual event."

SmogFest Events (all of which are free) include: 

SmogFest Video Night at the Press Club of Windsor (63 Riverside Drive E.)
Wednesday, May 8, 2002 ... 7:00pm - 10pm
Videos Include: "The Sprawling of America" and "We're Not Blocking Traffic,
We are Traffic" (A Movie about the Critical Mass Bicycle Movement)

SmogFest Art Exhibition begins on Wednesday, May 8, 2002 
Milk Coffee Bar, 68 University Avenue West, Windsor.
Thirty local artists have created smog-specific work that reflects their
feelings about Windsor's air quality: Anna Atkinson, Margaret Atkinson,
Mary Atkinson, Samar Beydoun, Leesa Bringas, Kay Byrne, M. Audrey Coltas,
Rashmi Dadwal, Viva Dadwal, Linda Renaud-Fisher, Jackie Fitzgerald, Stephen
Gibb, Susan Gold, Laura Gould, Marcia Gragg, Ken Grahame, Jeffrey Hasulo,
Josephine Hazen, Bernard Helling, Mary Herold, Ed Janzen, Margaret
Lawrence, James Levergood, Chris Mangin, Nicole McCabe, Tony Mosna, Steve
Mueller, Dawn Remigio, A.G. Smith and John Sturcz.  Artworks are available
for sale by silent auction. See "SmogFest: The Final Gasp."

A Public Forum on Air Quality and Your Health
Wednesday, May 29, 2002, 7-9pm
Ambassador Auditorium, Salon C, CAW Centre, University of Windsor.
CEA researcher Derek Coronado will discuss his analysis of Canada's
National Pollution Release Inventory and the US Toxic Release Inventory.
Dr. Deborah Hellyer, local respirologist, will discuss this region's air
quality, something she has called a "daunting public health crisis."
Question period will follow. Light refreshments will be served. 

SmogFest Parade/Demonstration 
Thursday, May 30, 2002, meet at 5:15pm at the University of Windsor's
School of Visual Art, the southwest corner of Huron Church Road at College.
 Artists and environmentalists team up with concerned citizens to bring
attention to air quality and related issues. Join us as we march against
smog down the NAFTA Superhighway.

SmogFest: The Final Gasp
Friday, May 31, 2002, from 7pm 'til midnight.
Art auction, poetry reading by Cranberry Tree Press poets Lenore Langs,
Laurie Smith and others on "O2: Coming up for Air", music, noise, t-shirt
giveaways, food, prizes!!! Unveiling of The SmogFester, official drink of
SmogFest. Milk Coffee Bar, 68 University Avenue West. This will be a
smoke-free event. 

For more information about SmogFest events, or to arrange an interviews
with participating artists or performers, call the Citizens Environment
Alliance at (519) 973-1116 or email at cea@MNSi.net


Smog is a combination of ground-level ozone and fine airborne particles.

Ground-level ozone is a colourless and highly irritating gas that forms
just above the earth's surface. It is produced when two primary pollutants
react in sunlight and stagnant air. These two primary pollutants are
nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Ground-level
ozone not only affects human health, it can damage vegetation and decrease
the productivity of some crops. 

Airborne particles are microscopic and remain suspended in the air for some
time. Particles can be both primary pollutants and secondary pollutants,
sent directly into the atmosphere in the form of windblown dust and soil,
pollen and spores. Secondary particles are formed through chemical
reactions involving nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, VOCs and ammonia.
Numerous studies have linked particulate matter (PM) to aggravated cardiac
and respiratory (heart and lung) diseases such as asthma, bronchitis and
emphysema and to various forms of heart disease. Children and the elderly,
as well as people with respiratory disorders such as asthma, are
particularly susceptible to health effects caused by PM.

Scientists now understand that there is no "threshold," or safe level, for
exposure to PM or ground-level ozone. Further, PM and ground level ozone
are not limited to urban areas; their presence is widespread throughout
North America.

"The bottom line is there's no comfort level. What you can see does hurt
you. But what you can't see hurts you as well." 
- Dr. Ted Boadway of the Ontario Medical Association.

Citizens Environment Alliance of southwestern Ontario and southeast Michigan
275 Oak Avenue, Windsor, Ontario, N9A 5E5, CANADA
U.S. (Mail only): 25443 Ridgewood Dr., Farmington Hills, MI, 48336
phone: (519) 973-1116
fax: (519) 973-8360

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