Air Pollution: Bridge & Tunnel Workers #2

Raw footage from Air Pollution, a video by Peoples Video Theater / Survival Arts Media, that explores the effects of smog and other pollution on the health of people and the local wildlife. In this tape, scientists administer pulmonary tests to bridge and tunnel workers as part of a longterm study to determine the effects of air pollution on their health.

00:00Copy video clip URL Tony, a union rep for bridge and tunnel workers, details the frustrating history of their efforts over the previous decade to get adequate, reliable testing of air pollution on their health, a story that includes Mayor Lindsay, prominent local doctors, and the Mafia. 

05:16Copy video clip URL Tony talks about improvements to air quality that they’ve been asking for. He points out that the highest concentration of carbon monoxide surrounds the bridge and tunnel booths, and that they’ve been fighting to get the booth workers fresh air. 

10:12Copy video clip URL Tony emphasizes the need for decisions about pollution and health to be made by experts and not by their employers. He has seen 9 young men die on the job, he says, and wants to make sure that no more workers are killed by the unhealthy conditions they’ve been subjected to. 

11:37Copy video clip URL Donald, a worker, relates how their employers tried to respond to concerns by adding high speed fans, which then destabilized the structures. But if they are not on high, they are insufficient to combat the pollution. Tony details the inadequacy of relying on fans and air conditioning, as well as how partial solutions have left different workers and commuters in worse conditions. 

16:35Copy video clip URL Tony points out that if there’s a blackout there is no backup system to power the fans, making the tunnels extremely dangerous. 

17:30Copy video clip URL Howard requests a tour but Tony says that stepping onto the property with a camera would require explicit permission from the company. 

18:38Copy video clip URL Donald takes a test in which he blows into a tube as hard as he can. 

21:21Copy video clip URL Outside the van, recording cars passing through the tollbooth. Then from the inside of a car passing through the tollbooth and into the tunnel.

27:09Copy video clip URL Still in the car, they exit the tunnel and drive through the streets. 

 

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