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EPA Decision on Ozone Standards Further Damages Public Health
Date:3/12/2008

Rejected standards recommended by health advocates would have saved 5,650 lives

Hispanic Leaders Call on Congress to Hold Agency Responsible for Deaths

WASHINGTON, March 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "A failure in EPA leadership has again demonstrated that protecting the public's health is not first on its agenda," said Dr. Jane L. Delgado, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, the nation's leading Hispanic health advocacy group.

Today the EPA announced that it would only moderately lower standards for smog-forming ozone from the current 80 parts per billion per unit of air to 75 parts per billion. This despite the fact that the agency's own Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee was "unanimous in recommending" a compromise level of 60 -- 70 parts per billion and numerous public health groups including the National Alliance for Hispanic Health (the Alliance) recommended lowering the standard to 60 parts per billion.

According to Dr. Delgado, "By rejecting recommendations of leading scientists, including EPA's own Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, the EPA is again allowing polluters to take thousands of lives every year. Congress should not let this decision stand and should hold EPA responsible for its rejection of science and the public's health." Dr. Delgado is a former member of the EPA's Clean Air Act Advisory Committee.

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that every 10 parts per billion increase in ozone resulted in 3,767 premature deaths annually. According to Dr. Delgado, "if the EPA had adopted the standards recommended by public health groups, including the Alliance, we could have saved 5,650 lives and prevented thousands of people from suffering heart attacks and respiratory problems."

"Taking a walk outside with your family should be a healthy activity. No one should have to die or suffer respiratory problems because we allow
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SOURCE National Alliance for Hispanic Health
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