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American Lung Association Victory in Lawsuit Against EPA Gives New Opportunity to Protect Public Health from Deadly Air Pollutant


Editor’s Note: American Lung Association air quality expert available for comment. Lung Association and environmental groups will hold a press conference at noon tomorrow to unveil clean air policy agenda.

Washington, D.C. Today (February 24, 2009), the American Lung Association won a critical victory in our fight for healthy air in the United States. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that they must review and reconsider their 2006 decision on the national ambient air quality standards for particulate matter. The Lung Association in partnership with its environmental colleagues and states had challenged EPA’s decision, because the science clearly shows that the standards set in 2006 failed to adequately protect public health.

“This victory is especially important, because the public health threat posed by particulate matter air pollution is so grave,” said Janice Nolen, American Lung Association Assistant Vice President, National Policy and Advocacy. “We encourage EPA to follow the clear scientific evidence and adopt standards that will protect the millions living in areas plagued with unhealthy levels of air pollution as the Clean Air Act requires.”

Particulate matter can kill and is one of the most dangerous and widespread forms of air pollution. It is responsible for shortening the lives of tens of thousands American every year. Particle pollution can increase the risk of heart disease, lung cancer and asthma attacks.

Millions of people are particularly sensitive to particle pollution and face greater health risks from breathing particulate matter, including infants, children, teen, seniors, people with lung diseases like asthma, people with cardiovascular diseases and diabetics. Even healthy adults who exercise or work outdoors in areas affected by high levels of particle pollution are at increased risk.

“Strong, protective national air quality standards are fundamental for healthy air,” said Stephen J. Nolan, American Lung Association National Board Chair.

The Clean Air Act requires that EPA set standards at levels that protect public health based on the current science. These standards define the official limits of air pollution that are safe for people to breathe and determine the goals for every state to clean up emissions.

“Today’s triumph will save countless lives and is an important step forward in the American Lung Association’s continued work to fight for air,” added Mr. Nolan.

About the American Lung Association: Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is “Fighting for Air” through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association, a Charity Navigator Four Star Charity and holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit


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