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Clean Train Coalition Press Release

June 13, 2012

World Health Organization Declares That Diesel Causes Cancer

CTC calls on premier to go electric with air rail link

TORONTO – The World Health Organization (WHO) has reclassified diesel engine exhaust as carcinogenic to humans based on evidence that exposure to the chemical mix is associated with an increased risk for lung cancer.

In light of this finding, the Clean Train Coalition is calling on Premier McGuinty to switch tracks and redirect Metrolinx toward an electric option, instead of pushing ahead on its plan to run 200 diesel trains a day between Union Station and the airport.
“The Premier has made it a priority to deliver an air rail link in time for the 2015 Pan Am Games. In addition to the threat to public health, it is increasingly clear that it will be a public relations disaster to open these games with a dirty diesel link,” said Rick Ciccarelli, CTC co-chair.

Earlier this year Metrolinx agreed to electrify the air rail link but then placed an order for diesel trains because it claimed an electric link could not be built in time for the games.

“The WHO advises that exposure to diesel should be reduced, but in Ontario we are making a massive investment in this dangerous transportation mode. There is still time to build the ARL as electric before the games and now is the time to stop this diesel project in its tracks,” said Ciccarelli.

CTC, a volunteer Citizens advocacy group, supports building more transit, but not at the cost of risk to public health affecting 300,000 residents who live in the diesel train pollution “spew zone”.

Metrolinx will be holding a community consultation on electrification on Wednesday, June 27th at Lithuanian House at 1573 Bloor Street West starting at 6:30 pm. The CTC invites all members of the concerned public to attend.

For further information, contact:

Rick Ciccarelli, CTC Chair
tel: 647-233-7624 email: rick-twx@sympatico.ca
Suri Weinberg, CTC Spokesperson
tel: 416-671-5801 email: squibbs@on.aibn.com

Complete WHO Announcement: IARC diesel-exhaust-carcinogenic

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