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October 03, 2005

Ahhh, the smell of fresh air

In Moline's great to-burn-or-not debate, the critical info to be considered is to be found, among other places, at the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program page at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute website; and at the Public Health Policy Advisory Board's update on asthma.

In short, the incidence of asthma in the U. S. is increasing sharply -- "epidemic" is used to describe what's happened in the last 30 years or so, particularly among children. No reason at all to think Moline and the Q-C are escaping the impact.

While the causes of the increase in the number of asthma victims isn't known, various of the triggers that set off attacks are. Smoke is a prime trigger for them, just as it triggers problems for people with a variety of non-asthma respiratory problems.

For some people, leaf-burning season "merely" makes life uncomfortable; for others, it is life-threatening. Whatever the precise effect, the number of people who suffer some affect is significant enough to justify a burn ban in a place as big and leafy as Moline.

Adjustments will be required. But good examples are near by, when the city staff considers what must come next if burning is banned. Davenport and Bettendorf have been smoke-free for years. No big issue, now, in either town. People have adjusted; the expense isn't burdensome; and everyone gets to breathe more freely. 'cept, of course, on those days when the wind lets the Iowa side share in Illinois' smoke production.

Posted by jcb at October 3, 2005 07:19 PM


leaf burning=gross
i like my lungs how they are, thanks

Posted by: Katherine at October 4, 2005 09:57 AM

Growing up in Moline, I enjoyed the smell of burning leaves in the Fall. But I have an eight-year-old son (Jack) who suffers from breathing distress when the air is filled with smoke. Watching him suffer to breathe has transformed me into an anti-burn citizen.

Posted by: Porter McNeil at October 4, 2005 11:19 AM

I seriously don't understand what Moline's problem is. As you said, other cities have stopped burning leaved and civilization didn't end. It became MORE civilized. Makes me wonder if Moline wants to keep smoking 'cause they been smoking something...

Posted by: Anonymous at October 5, 2005 04:30 PM