Over 200 Medical Societies, Public Health Groups, Faith and Other Organizations Urge Strong EPA Action Limiting Smog Pollution That Would Save Thousands of Lives

November 17, 2010

210 Regional, State and Local Groups Sign on; American Lung Association, American Public Health Association, and American Academy of Pediatrics Among Signers of New National Ad.

WASHINGTON, Nov. 17, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A national coalition of 210 public health, advocacy and faith-based groups is endorsing pending EPA pollution limits that would save 12,000 lives and prevent tens of thousands of asthma attacks and heart attacks each year.

The groups announced their support in an ad scheduled to appear today in Politico. Among the groups backing the EPA’s authority are the American Lung Association, American Public Health Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Preventive Medicine, and Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, along with scores of other influential national and state-level groups.

The ad may be viewed online at http://www.plowsharegroup.com/media_downloads/ala_ozone_push.php.

Overwhelming scientific evidence shows that the official limit on ozone, called the national air quality standard, must be much stronger to protect public health from serious harm. Ozone, sometimes called smog, burns lungs and airways, causing them to become inflamed, reddened, and swollen. Young children, teens, senior citizens, and people with lung diseases like asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and others are particularly vulnerable to the health effects of ozone. When inhaled even at low levels, ozone can cause chest pain and coughing, aggravate asthma, reduce lung function, increase emergency room visits and hospital admissions for respiratory problems, and lead to irreversible lung damage. Ozone can even cause premature death.

Nonetheless, polluters and their allies are pushing heavily to block the new standards.

“EPA must strengthen the ozone standard to protect millions of Americans who are currently exposed to unsafe levels of toxic ozone,” said Charles D. Connor, president and CEO of the American Lung Association. “This is a critical step towards safer and healthier air across the United States.”

“Polluters are attacking the clean air protections that have saved tens of thousands of lives and prevented millions of cases of illnesses over the past 40 years,” said Peter Lehner, executive director of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “The Clean Air Act alone has done a remarkable job of reducing pollution and protecting our health but there is more work to be done. Millions are suffering from asthma attacks and heart and lung disease. We need the EPA to follow the science and enact stronger standards to reduce the amount of smog we breathe.”

“Science should be our guide, and there’s no doubt that adopting a stronger standard will protect health and save lives,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, executive director of the American Public Health Association. “People with asthma, seniors, outdoor workers and especially children are at greatest risk. A stronger standard will help ensure that those who are most vulnerable are more adequately protected.”

The full text of the ad reads as follows:

“It’s our air, but big polluters treat it like they own it. They dump millions of tons of dangerous pollution into our air, threatening the health of all Americans.

Now they’re also dumping millions of dollars into a lobbying war against America’s clean air laws — even as millions suffer from asthma attacks and other health impacts, especially the young and the elderly.

By setting stronger air quality standards for smog, the EPA can take a stand against big polluters and their lobbyists – and stand up for all Americans, including the most vulnerable.

Overwhelming evidence shows that stronger smog standards will save thousands of lives and prevent tens of thousands of respiratory emergencies each year. Why would anyone oppose that?

Administrator Jackson, we are counting on you to fight for our air so America’s most vulnerable don’t have to.”

    The full list of 44 national ad signers is:

    American Academy of Pediatrics
    American College of Preventive Medicine
    American Lung Association
    American Public Health Association
    American Thoracic Society
    Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
    Center for Biological Diversity
    Clean Air Task Force
    Clean Air Watch
    Earth Day Network
    Environment America
    Environmental Defense Fund
    Environmental Health Fund
    Friends of the Earth
    Greenpeace USA
    Interfaith Power & Light
    Izaak Walton League of America
    Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA)
    League of Conservation Voters
    MORALS - Mineral Owners for Responsible Action and Land Safety
    National Alliance for Drilling Reform NA4DR
    National Association of County and City Health Officials
    National Latino Coalition on Climate Change (NLCCC)
    National Parks Conservation Association
    National Puerto Rican Coalition, Inc. (NPRC)
    National Wildlife Federation
    Natural Resources Defense Council
    NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
    Physicians for Social Responsibility
    Public Citizen
    Safe Climate Campaign
    Science and Environmental Health Network
    Sierra Club
    The Center for the Celebration of Creation
    The Turner Foundation, Inc.
    Trust for America's Health
    Union of Concerned Scientists
    Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
    Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth
    Utah Interfaith Power & Light
    Voces Verdes

    The full list of the 166 regional, state and local ad signers

    American Lung Association in Alabama
    Conservation Alabama
    GASP (formerly Alabama First)
    American Lung Association in Alaska
    American Lung Association in Arizona
    American Lung Association in Arkansas
    The Earth Cause Organization
    Ballona Network
    Bayview Hunters Point Community Advocates
    Citizen's Coalition for a Safe Community
    Clean Water and Air Matter
    Coalition for Clean Air
    Fresno Metro Ministry
    Regional Asthma Management & Prevention
    Rose Foundation for Communities & the Environment
    SF-Bay Area Physicians for Social Responsibility
    American Lung Association in Colorado
    Colorado Environmental Coalition
    Sierra Club, Rocky Mountain Chapter
    Western Resource Advocates
    Wilderness Workshop
    American Lung Association in Connecticut
    Connecticut Interfaith Power and Light
    American Lung Association in Delaware
    District of Columbia
    American Lung Association in the District of Columbia
    Greater Washington Interfaith Power & Light
    Southern Environmental Law Center
    American Lung Association in Florida
    American Lung Association in Georgia
    Environment Georgia
    Georgia Interfaith Power & Light
    Mothers & Others for Clean Air
    Southern Energy Network
    American Lung Association in Hawaii
    American Lung Association in Idaho
    American Lung Association in Illinois
    Eco-Justice Collaborative
    Environment Illinois
    Faith in Place and the Illinois Interfaith Power & Light
    Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition
    Protestants for the Common Good
    Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago
    American Lung Association in Indiana
    Hoosier Environmental Council
    Indiana Toxics Action
    Valley Watch, Inc
    American Lung Association in Iowa
    American Lung Association in Kansas
    The Great Plains Alliance for Clean Energy
    American Lung Association in Kentucky
    Kentucky Environmental Foundation
    Kentucky Interfaith Power & Light, Inc
    American Lung Association in Louisiana
    American Lung Association in Maine
    Conservation Law Foundation
    ENE (Environment Northeast)
    Natural Resources Council of Maine
    American Lung Association in Maryland
    Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    American Lung Association in Massachusetts
    Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light
    Massachusetts League of Environmental Voters
    Unitarian Universalist MA Action Network
    American Lung Association in Michigan
    Environment Michigan
    Great Lakes Environmental Law Center
    Michigan Interfaith Power & Light
    Michigan League of Conservation Voters
    American Lung Association in Minnesota
    Environment Minnesota
    Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
    Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance
    American Lung Association in Mississippi
    American Lung Association in Missouri
    Audubon Missouri
    Missouri Coalition for the Environment
    Missouri Votes Conservation
    Renew Missouri, a project of the Coalition for the Environment
    American Lung Association in Montana
    American Lung Association in Nebraska
    American Lung Association in Nevada
    Nevada Building Performance Professionals
    Nevada Conservation League Education Fund
    New Hampshire
    American Lung Association in New Hampshire
    New Jersey
    American Lung Association in New Jersey
    New Mexico
    American Lung Association of New Mexico
    New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light
    Western Environmental Law Center
    WildEarth Guardians
    New York
    American Lung Association in New York
    Asthma Free School Zone
    Citizens' Environmental Coalition
    New York Interfaith Power & Light
    New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG)
    New Yorkers for Sustainable Energy
    Renewable Energy Long Island
    WE ACT For Environmental Justice
    North Carolina
    American Lung Association in North Carolina
    Appalachian Voices
    Conservation Council of NC
    North Carolina Conservation Network
    North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light
    North Dakota
    American Lung Association in North Dakota
    American Lung Association in Ohio
    Environment Ohio
    Northeast Ohio Gas Accountability Project (NEOGAP)
    Ohio Environmental Council
    Ohio Network for the Chemically Injured
    Western Lake Erie Waterkeeper Association
    American Lung Association in Oklahoma
    American Lung Association in Oregon
    Northwest Environmental Defense Center
    Oregon Interfaith Power and Light, A Project of Ecumenical
     Ministries of Oregon
    American Lung Association in Pennsylvania
    Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future (PennFuture)
    Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania
    Group Against Smog & Pollution
    Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light
    Rhode Island
    American Lung Association in Rhode Island
    Rhode Island Interfaith Power and Light
    South Carolina
    American Lung Association in South Carolina
    South Dakota
    American Lung Association in South Dakota
    American Lung Association in Tennessee
    Tennessee Interfaith Power & Light
    American Lung Association in Texas
    Argyle-Bartonville Communities Alliance
    Dallas Downriver Club
    DFW Regional Concerned Citizens
    Downwinders at Risk
    Family Area Ministry & Education
    Flower Mound Citizens Against Urban Drilling
    Flower Mound Defense Fund
    FWCanDo (Fort Worth Citizens Against Neighborhood Drilling
    Local Color
    Old Town Neighborhood Association
    Texans for Responsible and Accountable Energy Development
    Wise County Alliance for Responsible Drilling
    American Lung Association in Utah
    American Lung Association in Vermont
    Friends of Burlington Gardens
    Idle-Free VT Inc.
    American Lung Association in Virginia
    VA League of Conservation Voters
    Virginia Conservation Network
    American Lung Association in Washington
    Earth Ministry/Washington Interfaith Power & Light
    West Virginia
    American Lung Association in West Virginia
    American Lung Association in Wisconsin
    Clean Wisconsin
    Interfaith Community for the Earth - Central WI
    Midwest Environmental Advocates
    Wisconsin Asthma Coalition
    Wisconsin Environment
    Wisconsin Interfaith Power and Light
    Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters
    American Lung Association in Wyoming
    Powder River Basin Resource Council
    Upper Green River Alliance
    Wyoming Conservation Voters
    Wyoming Outdoor Council


Carrie Martin, American Lung Association, cmartin@lungusa.org, 202-420-1141

Eric Young, Natural Resources Defense Council, eyoung@nrdc.org, 202-289-2373

SOURCE Natural Resources Defense Council; American Lung Association; American Public Health Association

Source: newswire

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