Below are excerpts from an April 23, 2010 letter from Douglas Henley, M.D., vice president and CEO of the American Academy of Family Physicians (representing over 94,700 family physicians and medical students) to the North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources regarding biomass proposals.
We believe that the proposed biomass burning facilities pose a serious risk to the health of patients. The burning of poultry litter and wood wastes leads to increased risk of premature death and serious chronic illnesses.
The plants additionally will have a negative impact on the health of our patients through emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxides, arsenic, mercury and dioxins, all of which link directly to respiratory, brain, kidney, heart and thyroid diseases; cancer; diabetes mellitus; neurotoxicity; developmental delays in children and disruption in fetal development.
These emissions will have an adverse affect on the health of the most vulnerableNorth Carolinians: developing fetuses, newborns, children, those with chronic illness and the elderly.
The result of bringing these biomass facilities online will be increased disability and disease, which will lead to increased medical costs.