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Leading health and medical groups challenge EPA over inadequate ozone pollution limits

Date: Feb 10 2021

Contact: APHA Media Relations  
Alex Trimble, 202-478-6168
Allison MacMunn, American Lung Association, 312-801-7628
Devin Miller, American Academy of Pediatrics

Washington, D.C. (Feb. 11, 2020) — Today, the American Lung Association, American Public Health Association and American Academy of Pediatrics, represented by attorneys from Earthjustice and joining several other organizations, challenged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's December 2020 final action to maintain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone pollution. The organizations issued the following statement:

“The Trump administration's decision to maintain inadequate limits on ozone pollution, in place since 2015, violated the law and endangered public health. The Clean Air Act requires that the National Ambient Air Quality standards protect public health with an adequate margin of safety. The science clearly shows that ozone makes people sick and causes premature death. It causes decreased lung function, coughing, shortness of breath and inflammation of the airway. Higher ozone levels are also associated with lower birth weight.

"We must reduce ozone pollution further than what the current, inadequate standards require in order to protect the health of every American, especially those at greater risk of health harms. Certain groups, including babies, children and teens; people with lung disease and other chronic conditions; low-income communities; and most communities of color face higher risks from air pollution. Strong ozone pollution standards based on the most recent science would protect their health, a goal that aligns with the Biden administration’s emphasis on promoting environmental justice.

“Our organizations are committed to securing stronger ozone standards that will save lives, as the Clean Air Act requires, and we hope the Biden administration EPA will strengthen these important protections.”


The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at www.apha.org.

About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.

About the American Academy of Pediatrics
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.