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Groups Battle Against Industry for Cleaner Air

Sulfur dioxide causes asthma and other respiratory ailments

So, imagine breathing in a substance that not only exacerbates but causes known breathing problems such as asthma. You'd want the Environmental Protection Agency to do something about it, right?

Well, they did: in June the EPA reined in emissions of sulfur dioxide—a nasty chemical—from power plants and other sources. These new standards are expected to prevent thousands of asthma attacks and hundreds of emergency room visits every year.

Great, right? Industry doesn't think so.

In August several industry groups and two states filed court challenges to the new standards, and Earthjustice stepped in. Representing the American Lung Association and the Environmental Defense Fund, Earthjustice intervened on behalf of the EPA to defend these crucial standards.

According to this article, the new standards would result in 2,300 to 5,900 fewer premature deaths and 54,000 fewer asthma attacks per year. In that article, American Lung Association President Charles D. Connor said, "This standard offers the promise of real protection to the people who have breathed these fumes for far too long."

Here's what Earthjustice attorney David Baron had to say about the latest filing: "The law requires clean air standards to be strong enough to protect health. We want to make sure that kids and senior citizens can go outside without getting sick just from breathing."

Stay tuned as we continue to clean up the air you breathe. 

Tags:  Air
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