The “Rectangle of Death” in North Pole is the neighborhood where the highest PM 2.5 pollution concentrations were recorded by the Borough at the intersection of Lineman Ave and Dawson Road during the winter of 2009/2010: over 2,000 micrograms.
Submitted by a North Pole resident to the FNSB Air Pollution Control Commission, 12/7/2010.
I am very concerned about the smoke in the Hurst, Newby, Lineman, and Dawson area of North Pole (as well as the Borough-wide smoke problem). The smoke is so bad that I cannot walk my dog for any length of time like I used to two winters ago. (The smoke was horrible last winter, too, making it impossible for me to walk outdoors.)
I enjoy the outdoors, and I want to enjoy getting out with my dog again, as well as with my children, instilling in them a love for nature—summer, spring, fall, and winter. This winter (and last), my children cannot go outside, as it is too smoky for them. We all know that it is very healthy for children to get outdoors in all seasons (when the air is not poisonous, of course). Keeping them indoors is my only option right now, though.
However, even in my home, my family and I are affected by the wood and coal (and whatever else people are burning) smoke in this area. My children, my husband, and I cough; I can even taste smoke when I cough. Our eyes burn. I also have mild asthma that is triggered by the air quality in and out of my home, but I am reluctant to use my inhaler as often as my lungs would like, since I am nursing my infant daughter and I do not want to introduce her body to unnecessary chemicals/medications. I am further concerned that my daughter will succumb to SIDS.
We/I have all of these complaints, despite running an air cleaner. It is a good one: it senses the air quality around it. Last night, for instance, it kicked up several notches because the air in our home was so bad. This happens most days—and evenings, especially: it kicks up a notch or more.
I cannot believe this situation is allowed to continue, especially when the harm smoke causes is well-known. Moreover, it is well-known that it does not just stay outside: it travels inside very easily (to which my air cleaner can attest). If our clothes stay in the dryer (which vents outside) for any length of time, they smell of smoke. My dog smells of smoke every time I let her back in from a potty break. People enter my home smelling of smoke, bringing it with them from outside.
I have pictures of the smoky roads (attached). They were taken at about 1:30 pm on October 20, 2010 and at about 11 am on November 3, 2010. I have not been able to get any more as it is usually dark when I am on the road these days, but my air cleaner assured me that there is plenty of smoke outside and inside my home most of the time.
Please do something about this situation. My children’s health, and my husband’s and my health are at stake: ALL people’s health is at stake, as well as our pets.
Sincerely hoping this will not last long,
November 3, 2010: Dawson (1st picture) and Newby Road (2nd picture) at the corners of Lineman Ave.
October 20, 2010: Dawson Road at the Corner of Lineman Ave. (3rd Picture)