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PSR Co-Launches “Promise Campaign” to Protect Kids, Families from Air Pollution

July 27, 2011

PSR joined the League of Women Voters in launching the “Promise Campaign,” a national drive that invites people and organizations to pledge to protect America's children and families from dangerous air pollution and to support policies that safeguard air quality.

Calling clean air a “health imperative,” PSR executive director Peter Wilk, MD noted that air pollution contributes to the epidemic of asthma in the U.S. An estimated 20 million Americans – 1 in 15 – suffer from asthma, making it one of this country's most common and costly diseases.

At the same time, he emphasized that air pollution contributes to multiple serious health effects:  chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, and lung cancer; blockage of arteries, causing heart attacks and permanent heart damage, and in the brain, stroke; and developmental impairments and lifelong loss of intelligence. 

Dr. Wilk urged all PSR members and chapters to sign the Clean Air Promise, either in its original version or as PSR has tailored it for health professionals.

The Promise Campaign, which will roll out across the nation, asks not only ordinary citizens to make the promise, but also elected officials and owners of major pollution sources such as coal-fired power plants.

It is in part a response to congressional attacks that seek to delay, deny, or de-fund enforcement of the Clean Air Act.

In a recent report, PSR documented the success of the Clean Air Act in reducing some air pollutants and underscored the need for continued action to address others.

Projections show that the Clean Air Act will result both in better health and in substantial economic savings, with the savings in avoided health care costs and days lost from work greatly outweighing costs of implementation.

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