Public hearing takes place in California today on new soot pollution rules

EDF expert testifies in favor of clean air standards to protect human health

July 19, 2012
Contact: 
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396, sstein@edf.org

(Sacramento – July 19, 2012)  An expert from Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) joined other concerned Americans today at a public hearing on proposed new national standards for particulate pollution – more commonly known as soot.
 
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is holding two public hearings on the proposed standards: the first took place in Philadelphia on Tuesday; the second is taking place in Sacramento today.
 
The all-day hearings will focus on proposed new clean air standards to protect human health from soot, a dangerous and sometimes lethal form of air pollution linked to a wide variety of heart and lung diseases.
 
“Clean air standards to protect human health from particulate pollution will help save thousands of lives in California,” said Erica Morehouse, who testified in Sacramento for EDF. “The Sacramento metro area is home to more than 40,000 children at risk from asthma and more than 600,000 people at risk from heart disease. Asthma in the San Joaquin Valley has reached crisis levels.  One in five children in Fresno County and one in three children in King County have been diagnosed with asthma.”
 
You can read Erica’s full testimony here. EDF's Mandy Warner testified at the Philadelphia hearing earlier this week; read that testimony here.
 
Particulate pollution is comprised of extremely small, often microscopic, particles that can reach deep into human lungs and cause serious health problems including asthma attacks, heart attacks, strokes, cancer and premature death.
 
A new study released this month found that every increase of 10 micrograms per cubic meter in fine particle pollution was associated with a 14% increased risk of “all-cause” mortality, a 26% increase in cardiovascular death, and a 37% increase in lung cancer death.
 
EPA’s proposed new rules for particulate pollution, when compared to current air quality, could prevent as many as 35,700 premature deaths each year nationally.
 
The final standards for soot pollution are expected by this December.

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