317 doctors and nurses write Mittal Steel
4506 Spokane Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44109
Phone (216) 661-4695
Dear Mr. Fedor,
Within the last seven months you have received 185 letters from Cleveland area doctors and nurses who have stated the health harms linked to the pollution Mittal Steel puts out over the Cleveland area. I'm writing you today with 132 more letters from medical professionals, bringing the total to 317.
I am a neighbor of Mittal Steel and have lived in the Old Brooklyn area for the last twenty-nine years. My neighborhood is not as close to your company as the neighborhoods around Scranton Rd., Denison-Havard Ave., Independence Rd. and Washington Park Blvd, but still close enough for me to smell the pollution and see it settling on my house. I can wash down my house once a year to maintain beauty and value, but what can I do about my lungs, Mr. Fedor, my well-being, my health, my life expectancy?
At times when I go into the neighborhoods directly next to your steel plant and I see how much worse everything is, the houses darkened by the soot, the stink, the noise from trucks, I know that the people there are even more at risk. Children have to grow up in those places and when you talk to the older people they will tell you that there are so many people suffering from cancer.
Cancer is a preventable disease and if it is preventable it is not acceptable, not under any condition. I had cancer; trust me, Mr. Fedor, prevention is better than treatment.
But cancer is not the only threat. Asthma, heart disease and lung disease are the other menaces. I've enclosed the Plain Dealer article written by two Cleveland cardiologists on the subject of health harms from air pollution and the letter you received from Case Western Reserve Professor of Medicine Dr.Bahler for you to read.
At times it is argued that the pollution that Mittal Steel puts out over the city is not as bad as during the time when LTV was operating the plant. Even if the pollution has been cut in half it is still unfit for "human consumption." We can hold our breath only for sixty or ninety seconds and then we will gasp for relief. All life needs air to survive, but human endeavor compromises it in a way, that is against all common sense.
The people who will suffer most from the pollution are the employees of your steel mill. Shouldn't an investment for the health and safety of your workers be a number one priority? I worked in the medical field for forty years and I've seen the negative effects air pollution can have on human health, including children. There are up to 58,000 new cases of cancer per year in Ohio and we all know somebody with cancer.
Fifty percent of the Cleveland public school system is within the five mile radius of Mittal Steel pollution. Of course Mittal Steel is not the only polluter in the Cleveland area but it is the company that puts out the most pollution.
Our children are at great risk, Mr.Fedor. To see a small child with an asthma inhaler is a very sad thing. It is time for you to listen to the doctors of Cleveland; they know, they treat what should be prevented. It is time to do something about pollution from your facility in the places where we live and breath.
The Neighbors of Mittal Steel group invites you to meet, Mr. Fedor, so that a solution can be found.
With great hope,
Ina Roth, neighbor of Mittal Steel