Eastbourne Friends of the Earth react to chemical haze

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Eastbourne environmentalists have voiced their concerns over the weekend’s chemical haze.

Andrew Durling from the Eastbourne Friends of the Earth group said it highlighted the issue of air pollution in general.

Mr Durling said, “There has understandably been huge concern expressed by many people about the air pollution that our section of the coast experienced on Sunday.

“Thankfully it appears nobody is any longer suffering any severe symptoms as a result of this distressing incident, which hopefully is just a one-off, and it also appears the emergency services responded swiftly and effectively to the incident, which got national media attention.

“Hopefully the source of the pollution will be tracked down as soon as possible and lessons learnt to try and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

“But there is much air pollution that goes on all the time, never gets the media attention it deserves, and which inflicts damaging health consequences upon all of us, especially upon children.

“That air pollution primarily comes from the particulates and chemicals emitted by road traffic, especially from diesel vehicles.

“Usually you can’t see it, smell it, or - if you’re relatively healthy - experience any immediate physical symptoms.

“But exposure to it is implicated in strokes, heart disease, lung disease, cancer, dementia, and a host of other illnesses.

“It can also be attributed to over 40,000 premature deaths a year.

“The solutions to this insidious pollution of our air are known, are capable of being implemented immediately, and are not unduly expensive.

“All that is lacking is the political will to deal with this problem.

“We will be exploring the issue of air pollution, and the pollution of our atmosphere generally, at a special, free event on Tuesday September 12 at Eastbourne Town Hall at 7pm.”