Friday, September 22, 2006

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services distributes report critical of Bush soot decision

Consider the irony. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has distributed the following critical summary of the bad Bush soot plan. This is from the HHS National Women's Health Information Center, which says it is "The Federal Government Source for Women Health Information."

Health Highlights: Sept. 22, 2006

…EPA Chief Rejected Key Soot Recommendation: Report

The Environmental Protection Agency's administrator has tightened by half the short-term daily standards regulating minute particles of soot in the nation's air, but rejected a broader annual standard recommended by his own staff and independent science advisors, the New York Times reported Thursday.
Last updated in 1997, the new standards increase short-term exposure rates of fine particles from 65 micrograms of particles per cubic meter to 35 micrograms of particles per cubic meter of air. Particle pollution exposure has been linked to health problems ranging from aggravated asthma to premature death in people with heart and lung disease. But the annual standard, which affects long-term chronic exposure, would remains at its original level of 15 micrograms per cubic meter, the Times reported.
E.P.A. chief Stephen L. Johnson, rejecting the staff recommendations, said that the annual standard would remain at its current level while research continued. No change was made now, he said, due to insufficient evidence linking health problems to long-term exposure. All but two of the 22 members on the agency's Clean Air Scientific Advisory Council had urged that the long-term standard be lowered to a range of 12 to 14 micrograms per cubic meter, the Times reported.
Reaction from medical and environmental groups was sharp, however. Frank ODonnell, head of Clean Air Watch, a Washington-D.C.-based environmental lobbying group, told the Times that particle soot kills more people than any other form of air pollution.


Joe said...

"while research continued". Right. Hey, only 20 out of 22 members of the advisory board recommended strengthening the standards. Wouldn't want to jump to any rash decisions now, would we?

I want Clean Air said...

Yet another stark reminder that we must start the political change in November with a new Congress, led by candidates willing to oppose this imperial President.

Meanwhile, we are on our own to try to protect ourselves.

Some things we can do are listed here:

Keep up the good work Clean Air Watch!