U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to Reconsider the 2008 National Ambient Air...

Wed Sep 16, 2009 3:46pm EDT

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to Reconsider the 2008 National Ambient
Air Quality Standard for Ozone



American Lung Association Applauds Decision by EPA to Reduce Threat from
Dangerous Air Pollutant

WASHINGTON, Sept. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement
of Charles D. Connor, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Lung
Association:

Today the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa
Jackson, announced that the Agency will embark on a formal review of the
national air quality standard for ozone, a decision that offers the
opportunity to finally protect the health of millions of Americans from the
most widespread and one of the most dangerous air pollutants.   

We at the American Lung Association applaud her decision to remedy a serious
misjudgment that the EPA made in 2008.  We look forward to working with the
EPA to arrive at a new standard in 2010 that provides real protection for
millions of people who live where the air they breathe can not only make them
sick, it can kill.  

Previously, the EPA ignored the advice of its expert science advisors and the
consensus of the health and medical community when it set this official
national limit on the amount of ozone pollution that can be in the air. The
amassed scientific evidence and the expert opinions of the scientists
concluded that the standard needed to be much tighter to save lives and
prevent other serious health effects. Last year EPA disregarded not only the
science, but the requirements of federal law--the Clean Air Act--that directs
EPA to set this limit, which is called the national ambient air quality
standard, at a level that protects the health of the public based solely on
the scientific evidence.  The American Lung Association has challenged the
2008 decision in court.   Keeping to the schedule they have announced is
critical.  Our nation has already lost over a year in getting the standards
that we need. 

Ozone smog threatens the health of infants, children, seniors and people who
have asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis and other lung diseases. For these
people, breathing smog-polluted air can make them cough and wheeze, restrict
their airways, worsen their diseases, force them to the hospital and even kill
them.  Even healthy young adults and people who exercise or work outdoors can
suffer from high levels of ozone pollution.  

We hope that from this review, the EPA will set a standard that protects all
of us from this dangerous pollutant. 


SOURCE  American Lung Association

Mary Havell of the American Lung Association, +1-202-715-3459,
mhavell@lungusa.org
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