Though some may see the Charleston County Medical Society Resolution for Shoreside Power for Cruise Ships as only a bandaid; for now the solution to pollution is dilution. Even though burning of cleaner fuels was required in historic areas of California and in Venice , Italy , eradication of dependence on carbon fuels, using alternate clean energy and initiating broad Green health measures are not in the near future. An immediate approach is to dilute the adverse impacts from air pollutants (“spread the wealth”) and focus on major offenders in local vulnerable settings. Studies of air pollution where high concentration is recognized show adverse health effects, including increased asthma, stroke, cancers, heart disease, and premature death. The risk is particularly high for children, older people, and people with high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, or chronic lung ailments. Consequently, those in the medical community with Environmental Health interests, recognize that the immediate need is to focus on unessential polluters, particularly where there is human impact – our harbor, our concentrated urban residents, our dock workers, our visitors. With a new terminal coming on line, this is a small cost with no Port retrofitting required, to obtain maximum local effect. This is an opportunity for shared expense by a highly profitable offender and a State entity with most to gain. Energy providers should kick in. Focus on the Cruise industry is not personal but practical.
While ideally we should eliminate all offending sources, as was the intent of the 2008 Resolution, we do have economic dependence on diesel burning industry and it is practical to focus on low hanging fruit. The physicians interested in this problem have come together to advocate shore side electric power.

Rick Reed, MD

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