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Sierra Club
4:50 PM
CONTACT:  Sierra Club
Suzanne Mattei, 212-791-3600 x35
David Willett, 202-491-6919
Final Day of Sierra Club Ground Zero Community Vigil During Republican Convention Focuses on Children

WASHINGTON - September 1 - Thursday, Sept. 2 is the final day of Sierra Club's 8 day Ground Zero Community Vigil. The daily, dawn-to-dusk event has successfully spread the word about the Bush Administration's failures to meet the needs of the people exposed to Ground Zero pollution and to adequately prepare the nation for future emergencies.

The focus of the Thursday's vigil will be "FINAL DAY, FINAL PLEA -- CHILDREN'S HEALTH AT RISK"

During the Republican convention, Sierra Club has been holding an 8-day vigil in support of the Ground Zero community. The goals of the daily, dawn-to dusk events are to call upon the Bush administration to meet the needs of the people exposed to Ground Zero pollution, and to educate the nation about the need for better public health protection in national emergencies.

Vigil participants have succeeded in distributing thousands of stickers and informational flyers saying "I support the Ground Zero Community. Toxic Clean Up, Health Care, and Answers". Hundreds of passers-by have signed postcards to President Bush calling for action to clean up New York and protect the nation.

Sierra Club President Larry Fahn is also in New York and available for interviews of this and the rest of the Bush Administration's anti-environmental agenda.

The vigil can be found from 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM on Broadway between Liberty and Cedar (at Liberty Plaza).

Facts for Thursday's focus on "Children's Health at Risk":

* Over 2700 children under age 10 live in the community district surrounding Ground Zero. The parents of these children were told that the environment was safe/

* Parents were encouraged to clean up the contaminated World Trade Center dust in their homes themselves, with wet mops and rags.

* Children suffered health effects from the Ground Zero pollution. A recent study of children with asthma in Chinatown found that children who already suffered form asthma had significantly more asthma-related clinic visits for symptoms and also required greater use of asthma medication during the year after the attack. Also, there appeared to be a significant increase in new onset asthma in Chinatown. A clinic study found a surprising 67 percent increase in patients after the attack.

*Lower Manhattan remains a potential terrorist target. These parents wonder what will happen if an attack or other major pollution disaster occurs again? Will parents get proper safety gear? Will they be properly warned of health risks and the need to take precautions to protect their families?


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