New CA Clean Car Standards Good for Public Health, Says Physician

Strong Air Standards Prevent Premature Deaths, Hospitalizations and Asthma Attacks

Sacramento, CA (December 7, 2011)

Today, Dr. David Cooke, Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery at UC Davis Medial Center in Sacramento and Sacramento Board Member for the American Lung Association in California, issued the following statement in response to the release of the California Air Resources Board staff proposal for updating its groundbreaking Clean Cars Program:

“The American Lung Association in California strongly supports the Advanced Clean Cars Program and believes the new standards are achievable and necessary to improve the health of residents in our state.

The American Lung Association’s 2011 State of the Air report finds nine out of ten Californians live in places where the air is unhealthy to breathe during some parts of the year. Passenger cars and trucks are a key source of our pollution problems.

Dirty, inefficient cars don’t just cost Californians at the pump. They hurt our health – and even cost lives.

A recent study from the American Lung Association in California found that a complete turnover of all the cars on the road to cleaner, more efficient vehicles as envisioned under the CARB regulations could mean tremendous savings in lives and dollars.  Each year California could avoid over $7 billion in health and societal costs and experience 8,800 fewer asthma attacks, 400 fewer premature deaths, and 37,000 fewer lost work and school days.

Air quality is especially important for the most vulnerable and defenseless Californians: our children. Kids are at extra risk for pollution-related illnesses because of their developing lungs and extra time spent outdoors.

These new standards will help protect children and those with lung illnesses, will extend people’s lives and are a step forward on the path toward a healthier California.”

The suite of standards that make up the Advanced Clean Cars Program and released in the staff proposal will enable California greenhouse gas standards to dovetail with updated national vehicle emissions and fuel economy standards expected to be approved next year. Other components of the program will set tighter standards for smog-forming emissions and put the state on a path to accelerate the market for advanced technology vehicles such as plug-in electric and hydrogen fuel cell cars.