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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 polluters to poison the air we breathe," concluded Dr. Delgado.

About the National Alliance for Hispanic Health

The National Alliance for Hispanic Health is the nation's foremost source of information and trusted advocate for the health of Hispanics in the United States. The Alliance represents thousands of Hispanic health providers across the nation providing services to more than 14 million each year, making a daily difference in the lives of Hispanic communities and families. For more information on Hispanic health and well being, visit http://www.hispanichealth.org.

A nationally recognized advocate for improving air quality, the Alliance's Health and Environment Action Network (HEAN) introduced new mobile technology to the U.S. last year allowing communities to monitor their own air quality. The ground-breaking project uses innovative Eco-pacs to allow youth and adult HEAN teams to monitor carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide as well as two types of water pollution (dissolved oxygen and pH levels) in their communities. For more information, visit http://www.hispanichealth.org/hean/.


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SOURCE National Alliance for Hispanic Health
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