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First-ever study to link increased mortality specifically to carbon dioxide emissions
Date:1/3/2008

bear an increasingly disproportionate burden of death if no new restrictions are placed on carbon dioxide emissions.

On Dec. 19, the Environmental Protection Agency denied California and 16 other states a waiver that would have allowed the states to set their own emission standards for carbon dioxide, which are not currently regulated. The EPA denied the waiver partly on the grounds that no special circumstances existed to warrant an exception for the states.

Stephen L. Johnson, the EPA administrator, was widely quoted as saying that Californias petition was denied because the state had failed to prove the extraordinary and compelling conditions required to qualify for a waiver. While previous published research has focused on the global effect on pollutionbut not healthof all the greenhouse gases combined, the EPA noted that, under the Clean Air Act, it has to be shown that there is a reasonable anticipation of a specific pollutant endangering public health in the United States for the agency to regulate that pollutant.

Jacobsons paper offers concrete evidence that California is facing a particularly dire situation if carbon dioxide emissions increase. With six of the 10 most polluted cities in the nation being in California, that alone creates a special circumstance for the state, he said, explaining that the health-related effects of carbon dioxide emissions are most pronounced in areas that already have significant pollution. As such, increased warming due to carbon dioxide will worsen peoples health in those cities at a much faster clip than elsewhere in the nation.

According to Jacobson, more than 30 percent of the 1,000 excess deaths (mean death rate value) due to each degree Celsius increase caused by carbon dioxide occurred in California, which has a population of about 12 percent of the United States. This indicates a much higher effect of carbon dioxide-induced warming on California health than that of the nation as
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Contact: Louis Bergeron
louisb3@stanford.edu
650-725-1944
Stanford University
Source:Eurekalert

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