Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Song remains the same for Lullaby

Taken from Big Issue in the North magazine dated October 19-25 2015 

Charity report on air pollution not published 

The Lullaby Trust, which aims to prevent unexpected deaths in infancy, has refused to give a publication date for research into air pollution although its initial findings were reported to donors last September. 
Presenting those findings, lead researcher Dr Ian Litchfield of Birmingham University said the research “indicated ambient air pollutants, particularly PM10 and NO2, were associated with increased Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) mortality”. 
The study, which was centred on the West Midlands, was aimed at examining
the occurrence of SIDS and short-term variations in air pollution for PM10 particulate matter, ozone, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen as well as its components NO and NO2. “PM10” refers to particles to up to 10 micrometers in size. 
Extensive research 
Shrewsbury’s Michael Ryan first became concerned about air pollution after he lost two of his children, one at age 14 weeks, and considered that their deaths may have been the result of having lived downwind of an incinerator. 
His extensive research, using electoral ward statistics from the Office of National Statistics, led him to claim that infant mortality levels, which dropped to an all-time low of 3.8 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2013, are above average in wards downwind of incinerators. 
Ryan was key in forcing Public Health England (PHE) into conducting a study into the impact of incinerator emissions on babies’ and children’s health. This was first promised in 2003 but began in 2012. Preliminary results were expected in March 2014 but it is now hoped that the findings will be published next year. 
Ryan said: “The Lullaby Trust report mirrors the PHE study in that it is delayed and also doesn’t look at nanoparticles less than PM2.5, which, unlike the bigger PM10, can penetrate deepest into the lungs. The trust should also have examined not just SIDS but all infant deaths as the former is around a quarter of the larger total of 2,686 in 2013. 
“My research and that of prominent scientists dating back decades and in many different countries challenges the view that deprivation, poor parenting and cultural practices are the only reasons for infant mortality. 
Sadly, I fear that too many organisations are willing to ignore this work.” 
A Lullaby Trust spokesperson said the final report is “confidential to us.. it could still be some time until it is published”. 
The spokesperson added: “We are not aware of Michael Ryan’s research. But when our report is published we will get our scientific advisors to review it before taking into account whether we should include his findings in our recommendations – as we do for all potential risk factors. 

“As far as we are aware there is currently no conclusive evidence for a link between SIDS and air pollution.” 

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