Support of Cleveland City Council Clean Air Resolution - Passed November 26, 2012

Statement of Verna Riffe-Biemel, Advocacy Specialist, American Lung Association in Ohio

(November 27, 2012)

Contact:  Verna Riffe-Biemel, vbiemel@midlandlung.org, 440-289-5805 

The American Lung Association in Ohio would like to thank the City of Cleveland for their support of the Clean Air Act.  By passing a Clean Air Resolution on November 26, the members of Cleveland City Council have recognized that clean air is crucial to protecting the health of all area residents and the high quality of life we enjoy. 

The resolution as passed calls on President Barack Obama to fully support and employ the Clean Air Act, including setting strong, protective limits on fine particulate pollution (also known as “soot”), which will save thousands of lives and protect public health in Cleveland and nationwide.

There are many at-risk populations in Cleveland who are especially vulnerable to particle pollution, including children, teens, senior citizens, people with low incomes and those who suffer from chronic lung diseases, such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema.  In fact, there are currently more than 27,000 children who live with asthma every day in Cuyahoga County.

Particle pollution, or soot, can trigger asthma attacks, increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes, damage lung tissue and airways, and increase hospital visits for those with respiratory and cardiovascular problems.  In fact, meeting the protective standards called for by the Lung Association could prevent approximately 35,700 premature deaths a year.   

The support of the Cleveland City Council is so critical moving forward.  The administration and EPA officials need to understand that our neighborhoods and cities across the country are ready to stand up for cleaner air here at home.  On behalf of the American Lung Association of Ohio, thank you to Health and Human Services Chairman Joe Cimperman for introducing the resolution and to the members of the Cleveland City Council for their support of the provisions of the Clean Air Act.