Report: Health benefits of stronger air pollution standards in Richmond

newspaperA new report from the American Thoracic Society and Marron Institute of Urban Management at New York University looks at the air that families in the Richmond area breathe.

Deborah Brown, president and CEO of American Lung Association in Virginia, issued the following statement on the report.

“The new ‘Health of the Air’ report from the American Thoracic Society and the Marron Institute finds that more must be done to clean up the air that Richmond families breathe.

“Their analysis found that nationwide, reducing ozone and particle pollution to the levels recommended by the ATS and the Lung Association could save more than 9,000 lives every year.

“In Richmond, if the standards were tightened to levels supported by the ATS and the Lung Association for protecting the health of Americans, we would see 19 more lives saved, 46 fewer harmful health events, such as heart attacks, hospital admissions and emergency visits, and 45,800 fewer ‘adverse impact days,’ such as missed work and school days each year.

“This new research underscores the importance of our clean air protections, including the updated ozone standard that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized last year. While less protective of health than the level recommended by the Lung Association and the ATS, this standard is a critical step toward cleaning up deadly ozone pollution in Richmond and across the country.

“The Lung Association in Virginia remains committed to standing up for the health of all Americans, including the health of our most vulnerable, such as children, older adults and those with serious illness whose health is most threatened by air pollution. While our states have made progress, too many Americans still fall ill and die prematurely because the air they breathe has too much pollution. We can and must do better to protect the health of all Americans.”

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