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Tougher air pollution standards challenged

Posted On Fri, September 24, 2010

Long-term exposure to air pollution can lead to several dangerous health consequences. In fact, the California Air Resources Board attributes 18,000 premature deaths a year to particle pollution.

To help clean the country's air, the Environmental Protection Agency enhanced sulfur dioxide air pollution regulations for the first time since 1971 this past summer. However, two states and several organizations are against the more stringent standards and are taking their stance to court.

The American Lung Association and the Environmental Defense Fund are supporting the EPA, saying the more robust air quality standards are needed.

"EPA's clean air standard will help ensure millions of Americans have healthier and longer lives," says Environmental Defense Fund general counsel Vickie Patton. "This science-based clean air standard is critical to protect against the peak, short-term pollution exposures that are especially dangerous to children, senior citizens, and people with asthma."

Even if the higher air-quality standards remain, those who find themselves exposed to high levels of air pollution on the regular basis may want to consider purchasing life insurance. Research shows that truck and railroad workers, for example, are more likely to die from lung cancer and heart disease because of the level of toxins they regularly inhale.

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