EPA’s New Proposal to Reduce Air Toxics from Boilers will Save Lives

Statement of the American Lung Association

Washington, D.C. (December 2, 2011)

The American Lung Association is pleased to see the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new proposed air toxics standards for industrial boilers. It is past time to move forward with these lifesaving standards.

Research has shown that toxic air pollution from industrial boilers harm human health, targeting the circulatory, respiratory, nervous, endocrine, and other essential life systems. These toxic emissions can even cause cancer, developmental disorders and premature death. Cleaning up emissions from industrial boilers and incinerators will prevent up to 8,100 premature deaths each year. It will also prevent 5,100 heart attacks, 52,000 asthma attacks, 3,000 emergency room visits, and 400,000 missed work days annually.

For the past two decades, the cleanup of toxic air pollution from boilers has been delayed, allowing these industries to pollute communities across the nation. The American Lung Association encourages the EPA to uphold its responsibility as required by the Clean Air Act and clean up toxic air pollution from these boilers to protect public health from mercury and other dangerous air toxics.

This is an important step forward by the EPA. Industrial boiler plants can and are legally required to meet the same air quality standards that other industries must meet.


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.