Skip to Navigation
Skip to Content

Support PSR!

Your membership supports PSR's work to reduce global warming, eliminate toxics in our environment and abolish nuclear weapons. YOU make our work possible. Thank you.

Donate Now »

Take Action

Tell the EPA: don't delay the proposed rule to capture leaking methane gas. Our health and the health of the climate cannot wait!

PSR calls on EPA to tighten proposed standards on smog

Posted by Barbara Gottlieb on February 16, 2010

 

It was my pleasure to present PSR’s comments before the Environmental Protection Agency recently, urging the EPA to tighten air quality standards for ground-level ozone, or smog.

Speaking at a public hearing in Arlington, VA, I joined the American Lung Association, Sierra Club and other clean air advocates in highlighting the damage to health that smog inflicts on large swaths of the U.S. population.

On the other side were industry spokespeople who cited the inconveniences and costs that more stringent pollution limits would impose on their businesses.

Those claims undoubtedly have some validity.  But they shrink when viewed in the context of the costs to health that respiratory diseases already impose on Americans:

• 100,000 deaths annually
• 4 million hospital discharges
• 14 million emergency room visits
• 112 million visits to ambulatory care facilities
• perhaps as many as 700 million person-days where activity was restricted due to causes attributable to the lower respiratory system. 

Interestingly, I seemed to be the only speaker telling the EPA that its proposed standards were not strict enough.  PSR’s review of the scientific studies cited by the EPA suggested that they were endorsing an ozone standard not stringent enough to protect vulnerable populations. 

“Vulnerable populations” include children, especially children with asthma; adults with chronic respiratory or cardiovascular diseases, and populations with genetic susceptibilities to ozone.  Hardly an insignificant portion of our population!

Concerned about ozone’s impact on health?  Know something about the impacts of ozone?  Share your knowledge and concerns with the EPA.  They are receiving public comments online, through March 22.
 

Comments

Russell Novkov said ..

It is critical that the EPA tightens smog to reduce air pollution.

March 9, 2010
Geri Aird said ..

As one who has breathing problems, I support the PSR position of stricter standards on ground-level ozone levels, as presented recently to the EPA.

March 9, 2010

Leave your comment

Name
Comment
Enter this word: Change

Action Alerts

  • Tell the EPA: Don't delay methane protections

    Tell the EPA: don't delay the proposed rule to capture leaking methane gas. Our health and the health of the climate cannot wait!

  • Tell Congress—defend the Clean Air Act against Big Oil!

    President Trump, his new EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, and some in Congress are attempting to block or weaken clean air and climate protections like the Clean Power Plan. Tell your member of Congress to support full implementation of the Clean Air Act and the Clean Power Plan.

More action alerts»

Resources

  • Video: Fracking - Too Dirty, Too Dangerous

    Former executive director of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Catherine Thomasson, MD, presents findings from PSR's report "Too Dirty, Too Dangerous: Why Health Professionals Reject Natural Gas". It is based on summaries of recent medical and scientific studies which clearly convey the health threats that accompany use of methane as a fuel. Read more »

  • Webinar: The Fight for Solar

    Solar energy is one of our best hopes for a clean energy future – yet some utility companies are trying to stifle the spread of rooftop solar. Learn more about the fight for rooftop ("distributed") solar. Read more »

  • Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) Fact Sheet

    RGGI has significantly reduced air pollution from fossil fuel power plants, improving the health of people living in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions. Read more »

In the Spotlight

  • November 30, 2016
    Eating for Climate and Health
    PSR's new PowerPoint presentation on how climate change impacts food production, and agriculture's contribution to climate change.