Both Richard Ferris and John Lovern (letters, Aug. 17 and 19) provide insightful and accurate information about the top “killing” agents: alcohol and tobacco.
What needs to be added to the top of the death pile is wood smoke. The World Health Organization recently determined that exposure to wood smoke contributes to the No. 1 cause of child mortality — pneumonia — not unclean water or malnutrition. Wood smoke is a “top priority” pollutant according to NASA and is, perversely, a top-priority entertainment for Californians who like to regard themselves as youthful and hip as they sit around a bonfire or a barbecue, inhaling smoke.
Can’t they see how old, diseased and very uncool that is?
Joe Tarica, in his Sunday column “Joetopia,” said that San Luis Obispo “is at its very best on Thursday nights” when Higuera Street is closed to cars. He fails to mention that the wood-grilling barbecue smoke is more harmful to one’s health than car emissions.
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Downtown San Luis Obispo is never at its best. Not Thursday or any other day of the week. Sad.