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"The Ministry of Health confirms: Haifa leads in the number of lung cancer patients". The HM in the Kal-Bo newspaper, 13/3/87

If today, 28 years later, no one has any real data on the connection between the infection and cancer incidence, it is a sign that there are influential factors who have an interest in us not knowing * Opinion column

Haifa leads in the number of lung cancer patients. Calvo, March 13, 1987
Haifa leads in the number of lung cancer patients. Calvo, March 13, 1987

The saga this week is around Cancer incidence data among children in Haifa, and the subsequent denial of the Ministry of Health and the twisting of its people on the claim that there is not enough data made me feel like de Jaune.

As someone who was responsible for several years for the field of environmental quality in the local newspaper Kalbu from the Shokan network where I worked in the years 1993-1990 that today he is being criticized in the Seventh Eye because he cooperates with the municipality and downplays the danger of air pollution. So, under the baton of editor Yossi Bentel and news editor Zvi Geller, there was respect for science and researchers and if they said that air pollution was dangerous. More than once I got references on the front page and even the main title.

So it's true, most of the articles dealt with lung disease (many dozens of articles actually week after week for a period of about two years) but in my archives I find on March 13, 1987, issue No. 972 of Calvo I also find one news item that dealt with cancer. The main headline: "The Ministry of Health confirms: Haifa leads in the number of lung cancer patients."

The subtitle: "There is a direct connection between air pollution and the fact that the number of lung cancer patients in the Haifa area is the largest in the country." This is what malignant disease experts claim. The plans to establish additional polluting projects in the area will not add health to the public.

The body of the news:
In the Haifa area there are more lung cancer patients than in the rest of the country, both absolutely and relative to the size of the population. These serious findings came to the attention of the "Calvo" reporter this week. In unattributed conversations, oncologists and public health experts suggested that there is a connection between the increased air pollution in the area and the increase in the number of lung cancer patients there.
Ministry of Health spokesman Shmuel Elgarbali confirmed the news but claimed that the causes of the gap between the number of lung cancer patients in Haifa and their number in the rest of the country had not been examined. "It is clear that air pollution contributes to a certain extent to the increase in the number of lung cancer patients in Haifa."

Elgarbali also added: "The Minister of Health (Shoshana Arbali Almuzalino. AB) insists that as long as the factories do not lower the current level of pollution, no sources of pollution will be added in the area. The Ministry of Health will also not approve the construction of the coal-fired power plant and the expansion of the petrochemical complex until a comprehensive survey is conducted on the relationship between public health and air quality. The minister expressed her opposition in the ministerial committee for economic affairs that discussed the development of the petrochemical complex."
The director of the oncology department at Rambam Hospital, Dr. Mariana Steiner, said that she does not have comparative data, but in any case, 86 new cases of lung cancer were diagnosed at Rambam in 162, which is about a tenth of all cancer cases discovered in Haifa that year.

Conclusion - if today they don't have enough data, 28 years after the issue came up, it is a sign that someone has an interest in not collecting data. And by the way, regarding the refineries, I didn't like the government's desire to privatize them, for fear that private parties would refuse to invest in solving environmental problems and drop the case on the health and welfare budgets that are forced to treat the unnecessary patients. Precisely the expansion they are requesting and which the municipality supports, should be the opportunity to finally check this figure. Haifa is a beautiful and smart city, it deserves to be considered as residents and not as subjects of a country that is owned by tycoons.

8 תגובות

  1. The mayor does care but our government not only doesn't care but on the contrary they can fight against us.

  2. Avi, good and interesting article. Haifa's leadership in diseases of the heart, lungs, cancer, etc. has been known for many years. The administration prefers to ignore. Kudos to Professor Grotto for publishing this data. We will not be silent anymore!!

  3. I am a resident of Haifa, and wish to continue writing on the subject - including optimal technologies for filtering pollutants, studies on the effect of pollutants on health and more as you can. Thanks

  4. Well done. This is how a real journalist should behave (for the attention of those who call themselves journalists and write only on behalf of...)

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