Everyone deserves to breathe clean air, it's that simple. A recent rule proposed by the EPA, that if finalized as strongly as possible, could create cleaner air for families and drastically reduce the number of pollution-related deaths and illnesses in this country, which overwhelmingly affects children and seniors.
63 million Americans experience unhealthy spikes in daily soot, or particle pollution, and more than 20 million Americans
experience dangerous levels of soot pollution year-round.
And a recent study found that soot exposure from power plants, cars, trucks, and other industrial sources disproportionately burdens Black and Hispanic populations who are more likely to work and live near these highly-concentrated pollution areas.
Tell the EPA to swiftly enact the strongest science-based soot standards to clean our air, advance environmental justice, and protect our health.
FINALIZE STRONG SOOT STANDARDS
As a member of the League of Conservation Voters, I'm asking you to finalize the strongest science-based soot standards to
clean our air, advance environmental justice, and protect our health. Thank you for proposing to take a small step - please seize this opportunity to fully protect our health with stronger final rules (i.e. no higher than 8 mcg/m3 annual and 25 mcg/m3 daily).
Soot pollution – also known as particulate matter, or PM 2.5 – poses a special danger for the most vulnerable people in our
communities: kids, seniors, and people with chronic illnesses. These particles are microscopically small – about 1/36th the size of a grain of sand – and can be inhaled into our lungs and delivered directly to our bloodstream. This is why exposure to
soot is linked to many health risks and chronic conditions, including asthma, heart disease, COPD, Parkinson's disease, dementia, low birth weight, greater risk of preterm birth, and higher rates of infant mortality.
Soot pollution affects millions of people each year. According to the American Lung Association, 63 million Americans each year are exposed to repeated short-term spikes in soot pollution, and more than 20 million Americans suffer dangerous levels of soot pollution on a year-round basis. And again, it is vulnerable, low-wealth communities and people of color who are most exposed to this pollutant and most harmed by our failure to curb it.
The current standards for soot pollution haven't been updated since 2012 and are insufficient to protect our health or the
environment. With stronger, updated limits on soot pollution (i.e. no higher than 8 mcg/m3 annual and 25 mcg/m3 daily), the EPA can save nearly 20,000 lives each year. And in communities of color, communities that are often overburdened by pollution, a stronger soot rule is expected to at least partially close some of the well-known racial disparities in health outcomes. Finally, by tightening soot protections, other dangerous pollution from these sources will also be reduced. Please set the standards at the most protective level proposed and recommended by scientists and health experts.
The EPA must take bold action if we are to meet the president's commitments to advance environmental justice, cut dangerous pollution, and protect our health and environment.