Central Link Project is a ‘major hazard to our health’ – psychologist

A medical professional critical of the Central Link Project has asked the Maltese government what it is doing for the care of the Maltese population.

In a social media post from Dr Anna Cassar, the clinical psychologist explains how nature is heavily ‘intertwined’ with people’s ‘physical and psychological health.’

Thus, she stresses that the, ‘Central Link Project is a major health hazard to all of us but mostly our children.’

Dr Cassar’s comments come only days after the controversial approval of the Central Link Project.

Objectors have said the new infrastructure project which is understood to include 13 new junctions, 7 kilometres of new lanes, along with the approved planting of 220 new trees, will damage the environment and agriculture.

Along with worries over widened roads leading to more cars, there are the added worries over the removal of trees and farmland.

Dr Cassar’s post concludes by linking to the health benefits of trees.

What benefits do trees offer society?

US Scientist David Nowak has been researching the importance of trees and jointly wrote a study on their benefits. These are listed below.

Reducing heat:

Trees are understood to provide shade to buildings as well as open spaces, thus reducing the ground temperatures.

Reducing air pollution:

Trees naturally absorb carbon dioxide and other pollutant chemicals from the air.

Reducing energy emissions:

Based on Nowak’s study, trees have the benefit of reducing the amount of energy emissions used to cool down a home or office building. Thus, removing the trees results in more costs for air conditioning.

Improving water quality:

Trees also have the key aspect of filtering dirty surface water as well as dangerous chemicals like nitrogen and phosphorus.

Reducing flooding:

Through their bound root networks underground, trees are able to hold soil and earth together, thus preventing soil being washed away on slopes and for water’s absorption into the ground.

Reducing noise:

Trees can be very strategic when it comes to sound reduction. They are normally placed close to motorways or neighbourhoods to reduce noise. Nowak also points out the key benefit of birds living in trees as a strong psychological benefit.

UV radiation:

The scientist also outlines that trees play an enormous role in absorbing the majority of dangerous UV radiation (96%).

Good for health:

Nowak also points out that trees are a major boost to mental and physical health. Adding trees to locations in which people are recuperating helps with recovery. It also acts a stress reliever. More trees also mean fewer deaths, studies show.

Aesthetically pleasing:

While trees are nice to look at, they also have a strong appeal in terms of buying accommodation. A leafy neighbourhood is far more appealing and more profitable for real estate agents, Nowak states.

Read more:

Central Link: Our plan uses 60% less agricultural land – PM

Central Link Project: Approved