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Health Voices for Clean Air Campaign 2012 update

Posted by Diana Ruiz on September 26, 2012

Our Health Voices for Clean Air Campaign focuses on raising awareness of the air quality in your State, health impacts and the links to stationary polluting sources such as coal-fired power plants. The target states include Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, all locations where electricity generation from coal dominates. Emissions from these polluting sources are severely impacting the air quality in these five states and producing adverse health outcomes.

This past week, PSR board member Alan Lockwood, MD FAAN, visited Madison, Wisconsin.  Dr. Lockwood’s new book The Silent Epidemic: Coal and the Hidden Threat to Health was just published by MIT Press, and he is on the road discussing the book and the health effects associated with air pollution from coal.

In Madison, Dr. Lockwood presented at three venues at the University of Wisconsin, including the Global Health Institute Seminar Series and Grand Rounds with the Department of Family Medicine.  He also presented with fellow PSR Board member, Jeff Patterson, DO, for a lecture at the School of Public Health.  All in all, about 140 medical and public health students and health professionals attended the various presentations across campus.  Dr. Lockwood’s presentation to the Global Health Institute is available online.

In his talk, Dr. Lockwood stressed the role of the EPA and the Clean Air Act (CAA) on public health. The health benefits from EPA’s clean air standards include fewer heart attacks, asthma attacks, and fewer premature deaths associate with poor air quality.  The CAA is one of the EPA’s tools to regulate air pollution levels to protect public health. An analysis conducted by the EPA found air quality improvements under the CAA is estimated to save $2 trillion in federal costs by 2020 and prevent at least 230,000 deaths annually.

People across Wisconsin were able to hear Dr. Lockwood’s message live on At Issue with Ben Merens, an hour-long radio talk and call-in show on Wisconsin Public Radio on Wednesday, September 18.  You can download & listen to this conversation at anytime from the WPR archives.

From here, Dr. Lockwood heads to Ohio to speak at Case Western Reserve University on September 27, 2012.  Dr. Catherine Thomasson will speak in Richmond, Virginia on October 1, 2012 at a press conference organized by Chesapeake Climate Action Network.  You can see an updated schedule of speaking events here.

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