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Pelosi, Slaughter and Tubbs Jones Introduce Health Tracking Legislation
Date:9/24/2007

WASHINGTON, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Representatives Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY), introduced the Coordinated Environmental Public Health Network Act of 2007. This legislation would establish a national public health tracking network to allow for the detection and identification of possible connections between adverse health effects and environmental hazards, and increase funding for locally-based pilot projects to address environmental health concerns. It would also increase funding for biomonitoring work at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which tracks exposure levels to common chemicals.

"Approximately 7 out of 10 deaths in the United States are linked to chronic disease. Exposure to air pollution and harmful chemicals has been linked to many of these illnesses, including asthma, cancer and neurological disorders," said Speaker Pelosi. "In California, for example, more than 33 million people live in areas where high levels of air pollution pose health risks, and breast cancer rates in San Francisco are among the highest in the country. This legislation will give public health officials the tools they need to determine the impact of environmental pollutants, and to intervene where appropriate."

"This is really an issue of environmental justice," said Rep. Tubbs Jones. "Minority and low-income communities are particularly vulnerable to environmental health hazards. The factories and dumping sites that emit pollutants are often located near communities with less political and economic power, and therefore less ability to protest. The result is an elevated risk of exposure to harmful substances."

"Many chronic diseases are on the rise. Asthma, for example, increased 76 percent nationwide between 1984 and 2003," said Rep. Slaughter. "Identifying pollutants that cause diseases and reducing harmful exposures will save lives and save
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SOURCE Office of the Speaker of the House
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