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.
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
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.