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HEAL presents health evidence in the Polish Parliament

On 6 November HEAL in Poland spoke at a conference on health protection and the coal-based development model of Poland, organised under an official patronage of MP Anna Grodzka.

The conference initiated by a coalition of the Lower Silesia region open-pit mines opponents and the Green Party in Poland, discussed the health consequences of burning coal. The event focused especially in regions in Poland where open-pit mines are to be built during the next years, despite numerous concerns of citizens and local authorities.

Lubin is an example of a commune, situated in the Lower Silesia region, where the voices of inhabitants are not heard. Since 2009 two legal referendums took place – the citizens strongly opposed mining projects - but none of them was respected by the government. Inhabitants of regions where the mines are to be constructed are concerned about allocations, water and ground contamination, draughts and sand storm, but what they are the most worried about is their health.

HEAL’s Łukasz Adamkiewicz (Right photo: Second from left) focused on the health consequences of coal-related air pollution, highlighting the evidence from HEAL reports and scientific studies. Almost 45,000 of Polish people die prematurely from air pollution every year and one in ten deaths in Poland is due to dirty air. Piotr Dąbrowiecki PhD, President of Association of Patients suffering from Asthma, Allergy and CODP, specifically described the air pollution problem in Poland and its influence on public health, especially on patients with respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

Other speakers spoke about the Krakow Smog Alert activities for cleaner air in the Małopolska region. One conclusion of the debate was that there needs to be a greater consideration of public health in plans for developing coal projects, and the recognition of concerns of local inhabitants.

Prior to the event, Łukasz Adamkiewicz spoke at a press conference on the external health cost of burning coal – with reference to HEAL’s Unpaid Health Bill report.

Last updated on 13 November 2014

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The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »

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