The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed its proposal for new national air quality standards for particle air pollution.
If it adopts the standard as proposed the Agency will have failed the most basic task required by the Clean Air Act according to the American Lung Association.
EPA’s job under the law is to state how much particle pollution is safe to take in.
The Association and others have constantly urged the agency to follow science and set tough new rules.
“Unfortunately the EPA has ignored this advice and proposed a standard that will not adequately protect the public,” said Association President and CEO John Kirkwood in a press release.
Kirkwood stated that the EPA proposal misses the opportunity to do what is necessary to prevent disease and death.
Dr. Gregory Wellenius, a Boston researcher, has found that increased levels of pollution in the form of air borne particles correlates with an increased number of stroke victims.
Xolair was approved recently by the European Commission for the treatment of severe allergic asthma and is expected to be available in the next few weeks.
A recent study has shown that children who live near a highway or busy road have nearly a 50 percent more chance of having asthma than those who don’t. The study included more than 5,000 children ages five and six years living in Southern California who are part of the Children’s Health Study.
“These findings are consistent with an emerging body of evidence that local traffic around homes may be causing an increase of asthma,” said Dr. Rob McConnell, associate professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. “The next step will be to verify these results with actual measurements of pollution around the homes near and distant from major roads, and to see if children who live in areas with heavy traffic develop asthma as we follow them.”
Parents of asthmatic children who live near busy roads should take precautions for their children by following a few preventative steps:
Don’t leave doors or windows open.
If possible, keep your children indoors during highest traffic times.
Have sensitive asthmatic children wear a filtering mask similar to those worn in hospitals.
Move to an area farther from busy roads and highways if possible.