American Lung Association Says Proposed Carbon Pollution Standards Would Protect Health of Millions of Americans

Washington, D.C. (June 2, 2014)

In response to the introduction of first-ever carbon pollution limits for existing power plants, Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association issued the following statement:

“Power plant pollution makes people sick and cuts short lives.  We are pleased to see significant health benefits from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed limits on carbon pollution from power plants, which would reduce the burden of air pollution in America, prevent up to 4,000 premature deaths and 100,000 asthma attacks in the first year they are in place, and prevent up to 6,600 premature deaths and 150,000 asthma attacks in 2030.

“EPA’s proposed limits show serious commitment to addressing one of the most serious public health challenges of our day, climate change. Scientists say that warmer temperatures can enhance the conditions for lethal air pollutants, including ozone and particle pollution. Despite steps in place to curb these pollutants, evidence shows that climate change is likely to increase the risk of unhealthy air in large parts of the United States. More pollution means more childhood asthma attacks and complications for those with lung disease, including increased risk of premature death.

 “Cleaning up carbon pollution will have an immediate, positive impact on public health; particularly for those who suffer from chronic diseases like asthma, heart disease or diabetes. Steps to clean up carbon pollution can reduce sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, both poisonous emissions from coal-fired power plants that are also major precursors to lethal ozone and particulate matter pollution.

“We urge the EPA to set a final standard within a year and will work with health partners across the country to support the strongest limits on carbon pollution. Anything less shortchanges our future, our children and our health.”

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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: www.Lung.org.