EPA to Strengthen Smog Standards

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to strengthen the smog standard. Smog, also known as ground-level ozone, can aggravate asthma and even increase the risk of premature death in people with heart or lung disease.

This proposal is consistent with the recommendations of the EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Council and the Clean Air Act. Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA must set the National Ambient Air Quality standards based solely on health data.

EPA notes that the new standard will protect the health of all Americans, especially children. Children are at the greatest risk from smog pollution because their lungs are still developing, they are most likely to be active outdoors, and they are more likely than adults to have asthma. Adults with asthma or other lung diseases, and older adults are also sensitive to ozone.

EPA estimates that the proposal could yield health benefits between $13 billion and $100 billion, help reduce premature deaths, aggravated asthma, bronchitis cases, hospital and emergency room visits, and days when people miss work or school because of ozone-related symptoms. For more information go to the EPA website.

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