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Lung Association Poll: Voters Want Soot Protection

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View Raviya Ismail's blog posts
29 November 2012, 11:22 AM
Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed support standards
The microscopic size of soot allows it to lodge deep within the lung. (Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice.)

They have spoken! Nearly two-thirds of American voters are demanding stronger protections against one of the most dangerous and pervasive pollutants around: soot.

Today, the American Lung Association released results from a national survey of 942 registered voters, finding that support for these clean air protections is broad and deep, with strong majority backing even after hearing balanced messages on both aisles of the debate.

Now it’s time for the EPA and the White House to listen: on Dec. 14, 2012, the EPA will release final updated standards for PM 2.5 (soot). Earlier this year the EPA proposed updated clean air safeguards that will prevent thousands of premature deaths and take steps toward clearing hazy air in national parks.

The proposal came in response to legal action filed by Earthjustice on behalf of the Lung Association and the National Parks Conservation Association.

The polling specifically finds that 62 percent of voters favor the proposal, compared to 30 percent who oppose it. Nearly 40 percent of voters strongly favor the standards, while only 20 percent express strong opposition.

ALA poll results.

A survey by ALA found broad and deep support for stronger soot standards.

In a press release, Peter Iwanowicz, American Lung Association Assistant Vice President, said:

This poll affirms that the public is sick of soot and wants EPA to set more protective standards. The public also does not buy the arguments being made by big polluters and their allies in Congress that this is not the right time to update soot standards and that doing so would be bad for the economy. They believe we can have clean air and a robust economy.

Earthjustice’s David Baron said:

This poll shows that Americans strongly support clean air. Now is the time for the EPA to deliver on this charge by adopting stronger limits on deadly soot pollution. Americans need and want safeguards that will keep our lungs healthy and our parks clean.

This poll released by the American Lung Association reflects what has long been true: that most Americans are in favor of cleaner air and a healthier environment.

Certain forces in our political culture have turned the idea of regulation into a dirty word among American voters, conjuring up images of a hyper-bureaucratic Nanny government that wants to tell you how to live your life.

But when specific regulations are discussed, clear majorities favor government safeguards for the environment, workplace safety, our food supply, and our highways, according to a report done by the Pew Research Center. (To see this report, visit our website

We need a system of regulatory safeguards to help protect Americans against threats that are often too big for any individual to protect him/herself from.

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