Shame on KGO-TV’s Sue Thompson for omitting key information.
In her KGO-TV (San Francisco) report, Sue Thompson writes,
This is supposed to be our rainy season here in Northern California, but not this year, no so far anyway. It’s been dry and mild and hazy. All of that is combining to creating health problems for some people.
This has not been a good winter for those with respiratory problems, mainly because the pollution levels have been higher than in years past. Now, many people just want to know when our air quality will improve.
For Karen Licavoli Farnkopf and her son Zach, a bike ride has been a tough challenge this winter.
“It’s tightness of chest, coughing, sneezing, so it’s been a tough winter because of that,” said Karen.
With pollution up, both Karen and Zach’s asthma has been tough to deal with. In fact it was so bad Zach was rushed to hospital. He did recover and now Karen doubles her asthma medication this winter. The polluted air that triggers their attacks can be seen all over the Bay Area. It is that thick, gray layer on the horizon that sometimes doesn’t seem to move.
“We had a very unhealthy Christmas weekend, air quality-wise. We had a lot of wood burning unfortunately, people were not heeding call, and air pollution, smoke pollution built up to very, very unhealthy levels,” said Lisa Fisano with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
But past the fact that Licavoli-Farnkopf’s amateur diagnosis of son Zach’s asthma problems being due to air quality amounts to anecdotal (not scientific or medical) evidence, as a simple Google search reveals (but KGO reporter Thompson did not), Licavoli-Farnkopf is an activist — she’s an “advisor” to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and a vice president of the enviro-anti-tobacco group Breathe California.
And although Thompson did identify Lisa Fisano as part of the BAAQMD, she failed to do so for Licavoli-Farnkopf.
So let’s just say we are more than just a little suspicious of the claim that Zach’s asthma problems have been affected by changes in Bay Area air quality.
The only thing that is clear is that KGO-TV reporter Sue Thompson either failed to do her due diligence or she willfully omitted key information.
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