For Immediate Release: November 26, 2014
TFAH Applauds the EPA and Obama Administration for Moving Forward in Addressing the Serious Health Consequences of Ground-level Ozone
Washington, D.C., November 26, 2014 – The Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) is pleased that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will move forward with a proposed update to the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for Ground-level Ozone. The following is a statement by Jeffrey Levi, PhD, Executive Director of TFAH:
“TFAH applauds the EPA and the Obama Administration for advancing a long overdue update to the ground-level ozone NAAQS.
To make the case that air pollution is harmful to health, look no further than ground ozone, more popularly known as smog. EPA’s own science is clear that elevated levels of smog can cause asthma attacks, shortness of breath, trips to the emergency room and even premature death. And, emerging research, examined by the EPA’s Clean Air Science Advisory Committee, suggests ozone may also be linked to low birth weight babies, negative neurological effects, and many other health hazards.
Sadly, we have known for nearly a decade that the current standard is not adequate to protect the public’s health, especially our nation’s most vulnerable: young children, the elderly, and those who already suffer from certain chronic diseases.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is bringing insurance coverage to millions more Americans, expanding access to essential clinical preventive services, and making historic investments in prevention via the Prevention and Public Health Fund. Yet, if we are serious about improving health and lowering costs, we must also continue to clean up the air we breathe. If we fail to act, we haven’t got anywhere near the root of the problem and certainly won’t be improving the health and wealth of the country.
TFAH looks forward to reviewing the details of the proposal and will continue to urge EPA to adopt a standard of 60 parts per billion, in line with what their own advisory panels on this topic have been saying for years. Since 1970, the Clean Air Act has been unequivocal and clear, charging EPA with setting standards based on what the best available science says. The best available science and the EPA’s own advisors signal a 60 parts per billion standard is what’s needed to protect children and the environment.
TFAH will submit comments in support of a final standard and hopes EPA and the Obama Administration will finalize the standard by October 2015. Every day we continue to delay is another day we put Americans’ health and lives at risk.”
Trust for America’s Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. www.healthyamericans.org