Washington, D.C., Sept. 2, 2011
— The American Public Health Association expressed its extreme disappointment today with President Obama’s delay of new national smog standards.
The draft standards, proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, would have reduced the acceptable limits of ground-level ozone air pollution and protected Americans, especially infants, children, older adults and those with chronic diseases, from its dangerous health impacts.
“We are extremely disappointed with the delay of these lifesaving standards,” said Alan Baker, interim executive director of APHA. “We in the public health community, including EPA’s own scientific advisors, have urged stronger ozone standards to safeguard the health of Americans. The science is clear that ozone can cause asthma attacks, harm those suffering from respiratory illness, send people to the hospital and lead to death. We urge the administration to reconsider its decision and strengthen the health protections provided under the Clean Air Act based on the overwhelming scientific evidence.”
APHA and other national health organizations sent a letter last month to the president urging EPA to adopt the most protective standard under consideration. The letter can be found at http://www.apha.org/NR/rdonlyres/E477BE4F-D497-428C-85BF-38D2211D8220/0/HealthGroupsOzonelettertoPresidentAug32011.pdf