Oxford MailReport backs widow’s belief pollution caused lung cancer (From Oxford Mail)

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Report backs widow’s belief pollution caused lung cancer

Oxford Mail: Deborah Glass Woodin with her husband Mike Woodin after an election victory in 2000 Deborah Glass Woodin with her husband Mike Woodin after an election victory in 2000

A GREEN campaigner believes figures linking 276 deaths in Oxfordshire to air pollution are further proof that is what caused her city councillor husband’s fatal lung cancer.

Deborah Glass Woodin, 52, of Marlborough Road, South Oxford, spoke out after new Government figures linked the deaths in 2010 to pollutants.

Her husband Mike Woodin, the city’s first Green Party councillor, died in July 2004 despite never smoking, and leading a healthy life that included eating only organic food and cycling around the city.

Mrs Glass Woodin said: “There is nothing to prove he died from air pollution but intuitively, I think it may have been. If you are breathing in small particles every day it seems quite obvious.

“Why would we die of cancer from smoking cigarettes but not cars and buses, when it’s the same particles?”

Mr Woodin, who lived in Oxford for 15 years, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

Mrs Glass Woodin, who became asthmatic within six months of moving to the city in 1992, said: “A consultant said he didn’t expect to see that type of cancer more than every four years and a GP would one see once in their lifetime.

“But within six months a friend of ours who also lived in North Oxford, where we were at the time, and also cycled to work, died from a similar type of cancer.

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“It just seemed like such a coincidence. Everyone knows someone with breathing difficulties in Oxford. When Mike was first diagnosed, his consultant asked if he had ever smoked, been exposed to asbestos or down a mine.

“They should have asked how many years of his life he was living and working in Oxford city centre.”

Mrs Glass Woodin, who was also a Green councillor until 2009, said she was “not surprised” at the figures from Public Health England, which showed that 5.6 per cent of Oxfordshire deaths could be linked to air pollution.

Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council have worked together in tackling air pollution by introducing a low emission zone in January. It requires buses to comply with European standards for levels of nitrogen.

But Mrs Glass Woodin said: “It’s one thing to measure how much pollution there is and another to do something about it.

“I cycle through the city centre and I know how challenging it is.”

Comments (2)

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8:07am Wed 23 Apr 14

Quentin Walker says...

If Mrs Glass Woodin thinks cycling through Oxford killed her husband, surely she is putting herself at risk by doing the same?
If Mrs Glass Woodin thinks cycling through Oxford killed her husband, surely she is putting herself at risk by doing the same? Quentin Walker
  • Score: -2

8:29am Wed 23 Apr 14

The Foxy Lady says...

What is she supposed to do then Quentin? Life does not make things easy for people, we cannot all up and move you know. I have to suffer terribly in Oxford and my astham here is horrendous. As soon as I am holiday elsewhere I can breathe again! But sadly I can escape the City as it is where my work and home is. I cycle the Botley Road and can taste the pollution, it is disgusting, but what choices are there? Sit in a car and rot in the que or catch the bus and still breathe in all the nasty stuff. It is really not that easy to just go and move to the countryside, its too expensive too escape our lives.

I wonder daily when I am in the smog of Oxford if it is killing me. When you live in this city with a lung condition excacerbated by the terrible constant pollution, you are really scared for your health.

Surely it must be illegal to keep killing the residents with all this pollution?

Ok, so you are going to say, what are the alternatives/solutio
ns? Well, we could for one ask anyone stopped in a traffic jam to turn their engines off in stuck for a while. That would help, when the FATBERG struck, the pollution was out of this world with people just sat in their cars for ages, all belting out their fumes going nowhere. I am not a big brain on this, but surely someon other folk have better ideas and we can surely start doing something. If you could see pollution in the air, really see it, like a thick black cloak, then you would be so much more aware of what your breathing in.
What is she supposed to do then Quentin? Life does not make things easy for people, we cannot all up and move you know. I have to suffer terribly in Oxford and my astham here is horrendous. As soon as I am holiday elsewhere I can breathe again! But sadly I can escape the City as it is where my work and home is. I cycle the Botley Road and can taste the pollution, it is disgusting, but what choices are there? Sit in a car and rot in the que or catch the bus and still breathe in all the nasty stuff. It is really not that easy to just go and move to the countryside, its too expensive too escape our lives. I wonder daily when I am in the smog of Oxford if it is killing me. When you live in this city with a lung condition excacerbated by the terrible constant pollution, you are really scared for your health. Surely it must be illegal to keep killing the residents with all this pollution? Ok, so you are going to say, what are the alternatives/solutio ns? Well, we could for one ask anyone stopped in a traffic jam to turn their engines off in stuck for a while. That would help, when the FATBERG struck, the pollution was out of this world with people just sat in their cars for ages, all belting out their fumes going nowhere. I am not a big brain on this, but surely someon other folk have better ideas and we can surely start doing something. If you could see pollution in the air, really see it, like a thick black cloak, then you would be so much more aware of what your breathing in. The Foxy Lady
  • Score: 7

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