NC Medical and Health Professionals Urge Gov. Perdue to Defend State Air Toxics Program

CHARLOTTE, January 23 – Recent reports that state legislators may be considering dismantling or
weakening North Carolina’s Air Toxics Program has initiated a response from North Carolina’s medical
and health professionals. A letter defending the Air Toxics Program was delivered to Governor Bev
Perdue last week and was signed by 85 doctors and other medical professionals from across North
Carolina. The letter describes the distinction between the federal and state air toxics programs and
shows how North Carolina’s law goes much further to protect the health of those residents living near
industrial facilities.
Dr. Lawrence Raymond, chair of Medical Advocates for Healthy Air, is leading efforts to mobilize the
medical and health community to encourage Governor Bev Perdue to defend this critical state program.
According to Dr. Raymond, “Now is not the time to weaken North Carolina’s Air Toxics Program. Having
more toxic pollutants in the air we breathe will only diminish our state’s appeal and will certainly
decrease public health, especially for children, seniors and those with existing medical conditions.”
Exposure to air toxins is linked to cancer, pediatric respiratory disease, adult respiratory and cardiac
disease and premature death. Children, pregnant women, and senior citizens are especially vulnerable
to the effects of air pollution from industrial emissions which they are powerless to control.
“Doctors and public health practitioners have firsthand knowledge of the devastating effects breathing
toxic air pollution has on the health of their patients, especially children whose lungs are still
developing,” said June Blotnick, Executive Director of Clean Air Carolina, the organization sponsoring
Medical Advocates for Healthy Air. “North Carolina is home to over 139,000 children with asthma who
need all the help they can get from the state to ensure they breathe clean and healthy air.”
In 2011 several of N.C.’s largest emitters in toxic air pollution requested, in writing, that the Air Toxics
regulations be repealed or rewritten. These companies, Duke Energy, Domtar Paper, Evergreen
Packaging, Nucor Steel and PCS Phosphate have all contributed to the over 34 million pounds of toxics in
air emissions in North Carolina in 2010. If the Air Toxics Program is changed or weakened in any way,
these companies will be allowed to go on emitting cancerous toxins into North Carolina’s air without
assuring that it is not harmful to nearby communities.
North Carolina is continually ranked as a top state for business, largely in part to our quality of life. There
is no credible evidence that weakening this program will add one job, but there is meaningful evidence
that it will lead to more toxic air pollution and more health problems for North Carolina communities.


Clean Air Carolina is a non-profit organization based in Charlotte, NC. Our mission is to ensure cleaner air
quality for all by educating the community about how air quality affects our health, advocating for
stronger clean air policies, and partnering with other organizations committed to cleaner air and
sustainable practices.
Medical Advocates for Healthy Air is a statewide network of medical professionals and public health
practitioners working to protect the health of North Carolinians by advocating for stronger clean air