Having organized a panel in Turkey’s İskenderun province, the HEAL discussed “The pollution from 16 new coal plants in the pipeline would greatly increase the already existing health burden” as Turkey has already become an “industrial hot spot”.
The toolkit entitled “Coal power generation and health in Iskenderun Bay, Turkey” focuses on southeastern new coal plants being built in Iskenderun Bay and other areas, as well as efforts of local groups, including health professionals, who have long been engaged in efforts to prevent these plans.
Having been launched in cooperation with the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), the HEAL toolkit was introduced in a panel in Iskenderun in Hatay province on Feb. 13., in collaboration with the Hatay, Mersin, Osmaniye and Adana Chamber of Medicines, the Hatay Greater Municipality, the Environment and Consumer Protection Society, and the Iskenderun Environmental Protection Society.
“We are concerned about an increased burden of allergic respiratory system diseases, chronic lung diseases, cardio-vascular diseases, different types of cancers, as well as children born with anomalies, and underdeveloped brains, due to the heavy metal pollution and acid rain from these future coal power plants” Professor Dr. Neslihan Önenli Mungan, Chair of the Adana Chamber of Medicine stated.
“We urge authorities to act responsible and to build a rational energy future for Turkey, excluding coal and other fossil fuels” added Dr. Ful Ugurhan, Chair of the Mersin Chamber of Medicine .
The toolkit provides information on key air pollutants and air quality in the major cities; what is needed for a complete assessment of air quality in the region; how to track down coal projects; and gathering evidence on health and environmental impacts.
Dr. Sadun Bölükbaşı, Chair of the Environmental and Consumer Protection Association suggested that Turkey could “a bright and healthy future” without exposure to any of these risks by generating electricity with the right planning from sun and wind power, which are free and indefinite sources of energy.