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Press Room:  For Immediate Release 
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 12, 2008 Contact: Virginia Cramer, 202-675-6279 New Air Standard Puts Public Health at Risk EPA Falls Short on Science Washington, D.C.: Against the advice of its own scientific advisors, the EPA today set new ozone standards which, while an improvement over the existing standard, still favors polluting industries over public health. Smog, one of the most dangerous forms of air pollution, comes from sources like coal-fired power plants and automobiles and is harmful to human health even at very low levels. Smog can cause a wide range of health problems, including asthma, permanent lung damage and even premature death. Scientists have compared exposure to smog pollution as getting sunburn on the lungs. In response Ed Hopkins, director of the Sierra Club's Environmental Quality Program, issued the following statement. "Smog doesn't just ruin your view; it poses serious health risks, especially to children and senior citizens. Study after study shows that to protect public health we need to significantly lower the amount of smog in our air. EPA's new smog standard does not go far enough to protect public health. We know that smog can still cause serious harm at levels below this standard. "Almost half of all Americans live in areas with unsafe levels of smog, yet the EPA has failed to take appropriate protective action. It has ignored the advice of the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association and even the unanimous recommendation of its own Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee. Once again the EPA has put industry before public health, and our communities will pay the price. "Instead of upholding the Clean Air Act, the EPA is proposing to dismantle it. Congress should ignore the recommendations made in the dying days of the Bush administration to undermine the public health basis of the Clean Air Act" ###


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