Statement of the American Lung Association on US Power Plant Carbon Standards and Clean Air and Heath Co-benefits
Statement of Norman H. Edelman, M.D., senior scientific advisor of the American Lung Association
(May 4, 2015) - CHICAGO
A new study published today in Nature Climate Change, "US Power Plant Carbon Standards and Clean Air and Heath Co-benefits," presents an analysis of how US power plant carbon standards could change fine particle matter and ozone concentrations in ambient air, and the resulting public health co-benefits. Norman H. Edelman, M.D., senior scientific advisor of the American Lung Association, released the following statement:
"The analysis reported here affirms EPA's finding on its proposed Clean Power Plan: that adopting strong carbon pollution limits for existing power plants will not only reduce carbon emissions that are fueling climate change, but will also have an immediate, positive impact on public health.These analysis finds that reducing carbon pollution cuts other pollutants that create ozone and particulate matter. A strong approach can prevent an estimated 3,500 premature deaths as well as asthma attacks, heart attacks and other illnesses linked to air pollution each year beginning in 2020.
"Strikingly, all methods of reducing power plant carbon pollution are not equal when it comes to protecting our health. This report provides evidence that a weak approach could actually lead to greater health risks from power plant air pollution in some communities.
"We have long known that air pollution from power plants causes life-threatening harm to human health. Power plants produce emissions that have been shown to cause premature death, asthma attacks and heart attacks, and also increase the risk of those with asthma or other lung diseases to seek emergency medical care or be admitted to the hospital.
"The American Lung Association urges the EPA to adopt a strong Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon pollution from power plants that maximizes health benefits. Anything less shortchanges our future, our children and our health."
Editor’s Note: For media interested in speaking with an expert about lung health, healthy air or the State of the Air report, contact the American Lung Association at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-801-7628.