Detroit’s health chief: Don’t let Marathon up pollutants

By Abdul El-Sayed

January 6, 2016

Excerpt: “Marathon Petroleum has asked the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to allow them to emit more harmful pollutants into Detroit’s air. The proposal is unacceptable because it comes at the cost of Detroit’s ailing public health….

While there are many reasons that Detroiters suffer disproportionately from asthma, one of the clear reasons is air pollution. Harmful pollutants, such as large and small particulate matter and sulfur dioxide have been linked to asthma. It’s no secret that Detroit’s levels are among the highest in the State – particularly in 48217, the most polluted zip code in Michigan. Far from a desolate industrial district, southwest Detroit is a thriving district home to some of Detroit’s most robust neighborhoods. In 48217 alone, there are more than 7,000 residents, 25% of whom are under the age of 19.

And the health effects of air pollution are not limited to asthma. They also include heart disease, stroke, and cancer – diseases that are also more common in Detroit than elsewhere.

Constricted lungs, diseased hearts, tumors in the lungs and beyond: these are consequences that the MDEQ wants Detroiters to accept.”