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The Clean Air Act Makes You Live Longer
The Clean Air Act, as you probably know, is one of the most important environmental laws in the United States. Since its passage in 1970, urban areas especially have seen dramatic improvements in air pollution and smog levels. And it's important to remember -- especially as Congressional Republicans continue an attempt to roll back the law -- that it's had major health benefits to the nation at large. You may know that thanks to the Clean Air Act, tens of thousands of lives are saved every year (the particulate pollution it regulates can cause respiratory illness, cancer, and so forth). But it's also helping us all live a little bit longer, too. Scientific American reports:
Air quality across the United States has improved dramatically since 1970 when Congress passed the Clean Air Act in response to growing pollution problems and fouled air from coast to coast. According to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), levels of all major air pollution contaminants (ozone, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter and lead) are down significantly since 1970; carbon monoxide levels alone dropped by more than 70 percent.Memo to politicians who are losing the debate over the Clean Air Act and funding for the EPA to enforce it in Congress -- here's your new slogan:
... A 2009 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that efforts to reduce fine particle pollution from automobiles, diesel engines, steel mills and coal-fired power plants have added between four and eight months to the average American's life expectancy in recent years.
The Clean Air Act Makes You Live Longer. Has a nice ring to it, right?
This point should be added to the immense canon that lawmakers seeking to reflect the public will and protect Americans' health and environment now possess. It should go right alongside these:
In other words, upholding -- and continually strengthening -- the Clean Air Act is a no-brainer.
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