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Stand Up for Clean Air

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First there was bottled water

First there was bottled water. Could bottled air be next on the agenda? Well, it might be if you left it up to Canadians. Almost four out of ten of us think that our health has been adversely affected by air pollution and expect it to further affect us in the future.

Air pollution and emissions seem to be the biggest environmental concern on the minds of those surveyed-with good reason. It's estimated that air pollution is the cause of 16,000 premature deaths from cancer and respiratory illnesses in Canada every year. Part of the blame lies with lax emission laws. In fact, only six of the thousands of chemicals released into the air we breathe daily are subject to federal regulation.

So what can you, as a concerned citizen, do? Well, you have several options. One is to band together with your community and make your opinions known. As a group you can support those organizations that are already on the emission-reduction bandwagon. You can lend a hand to your local environmental groups. If there are none in your area, start one yourself. Write letters to editors of your local paper, presidents of companies that are known polluters, and to government officials like your federal and provincial Ministers of the Environment. Voice your opinion with your vote and aim to elect officials that make preservation of our environment their priority.

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