Newsday (Letter to the editor): Clean air law should be stricter

(September 22, 2011)


September 22, 2011

Bob Keeler's column "Clean air won't kill jobs, but it will save people" [Opinion, Sept. 13] was a breath of fresh air to read. The Lung Association is committed to educating the public about the very real dangers of ozone pollution and the importance of adopting a tighter standard that adequately protects public health. Science clearly tells us that a stronger standard is needed, and that is why President Barack Obama's decision to again delay tightening the standard is so disappointing.

The truth about ozone is that it can burn and inflame the lungs and airways. It can worsen asthma, emphysema and bronchitis. Senior citizens, children, teens and even healthy individuals who work and exercise outdoors are at risk.

Suffolk County has the worst ozone pollution in the state, according to the Lung Association's 2011 State of the Air Report. While ozone levels have shown improvement, nearly half of all New Yorkers live in areas where air pollution endangers their lives and health. We need cleaner air now.

Delaying adoption of a more protective ozone standard as recommended by the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee was a mistake. We need Obama to embrace policies that will help New Yorkers, particularly the 2.5 million who suffer from lung disease, breathe easier.

Michael Seilback, Hauppauge
Editor's note: The writer is a vice president with the American Lung Association in New York.