For Immediate Release
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American Public Health Association applauds EPA for proposing stronger protections against soot

Washington, D.C., June 15, 2012 — The American Public Health Association today applauded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for proposing new national air quality standards for fine particulate matter, or soot, that would reduce dangerous pollution in communities and save thousands of lives.


Overwhelming evidence now shows that there are negative health impacts at lower levels of pollution than previously thought. Reducing fine particulate matter or PM2.5, one of the most dangerous forms of air pollution, can penetrate deep into the lungs and possibly cause premature death, heart attacks, strokes and childhood asthma. Thanks to recent Clean Air Act rules that cut pollution, 99 percent of U.S. counties are projected to meet these new proposed standards without taking additional action.


“We applaud EPA for taking a step in the right direction to reduce particulate matter exposure and safeguard public health,” said Georges Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA. “We look forward to the agency setting strong final standards to protect people from this dangerous pollution.”


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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