The US EPA’s career staff has performed an evaluation of the emerging science involving fine particle pollution. (The agency is reviewing the controversial standards set in 1997 and officially put into place only recently.)
The results seem pretty interesting – especially since the Bush administration and its corporate allies are promoting a plan that could delay achievement of the current standards.
Here is an excerpt (from Chapter 5) from the new EPA staff report:
While the limitations and uncertainties in the available evidence suggest caution in interpreting the epidemiologic studies at the lower levels of air quality observed in the studies, staff concludes that the evidence now available provides strong support for considering fine particle standards that would provide increased protection from that afforded by the current PM2.5 standards. More protective standards would reflect the generally stronger and broader body of evidence of associations with mortality and morbidity now available in this review, at lower levels of air quality and at levels below the current standards, and with more understanding of possible underlying mechanisms.
The full report is available by clicking here.