American Public Health Association
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For Immediate Release
For more information, please contact APHA Communications at (202) 777-2509 or mediarelations@apha.org .

Congress Should Protect the Clean Air Act and Reject Rep. Upton’s Bill that Would Harm Public Health, Says APHA

Washington , D.C. , February 3, 2011 – The American Public Health Association today expressed deep concern over a proposal by U.S. Rep. Fred Upton that would block the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. APHA is calling on lawmakers to reject any attempt to roll back Clean Air Act protections that would limit the agency’s ability to protect public health by reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

“For 40 years, the Clean Air Act has safeguarded the health of all Americans, including our most vulnerable” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA. “Attempts to remove protections already in place must be stopped.”

“The public health community is very concerned about the long-term health consequences of global climate change,” said Benjamin. “Blocking EPA’s authority to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases could mean the difference between chronic debilitating illness or a healthy life for countless Americans.”

Climate change and rising temperatures expose more Americans to conditions that result in illness and death due to respiratory illness, heat-related stress and insect-borne diseases. These maladies fall most heavily on our most vulnerable communities, including children, older adults, those with serious health conditions and poor people.

Protecting the EPA’s authority under the Clean Air and ensuring it has the necessary means to continue to safeguard public health is a primary legislative priority for APHA during the 112th Congress.

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Founded in 1872, the APHA is the oldest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world. The association aims to protect all Americans and their communities from preventable, serious health threats and strives to assure community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in the United States. APHA represents a broad array of health providers, educators, environmentalists, policy-makers and health officials at all levels working both within and outside governmental organizations and educational institutions. More information is available at www.apha.org.