EPA NEWS: Clean Air Act’s Successful Public Health Protections

A new EPA report notes that the Federal Clean Air Act saved 160,000 American lives in 2010, according to the press release announcing the report’s findings.

That release continues:

The report estimates that the benefits of reducing fine particle and ground level ozone pollution under the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments will reach approximately $2 trillion in 2020 while saving 230,000 people from early death in that year alone. The report studied the effects of the Clean Air Act updates on the economy, public health and the environment between 1990 and 2020.

The EPA report received extensive review and input from the Council on Clean Air Compliance Analysis, an independent panel of distinguished economists, scientists and public health experts established by Congress in 1991.

“The Clean Air Act’s decades-long track record of success has helped millions of Americans live healthier, safer and more productive lives,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “This report outlines the extraordinary health and economic benefits of one of our nation’s most transformative environmental laws and demonstrates the power of bipartisan approaches to protecting the health of the American people from pollution in our environment.”

“The Benefits and Costs of the Clean Air Act from 1990 to 2020” shows that the benefits of avoiding early death, preventing heart attacks and asthma attacks, and reducing the number of sick days for employees far exceed costs of implementing clean air protections. These benefits lead to a more productive workforce, and enable consumers and businesses to spend less on health care — all of which help strengthen the economy.<

In 2010 alone, the reductions in fine particle and ozone pollution from the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments prevented more than:

  • 160,000 cases of premature mortality<
  • 130,000 heart attacks
  • 13 million lost work days
  • 1.7 million asthma attacks

In 2020, the study projects benefits will be even greater, preventing more than:

  • 230,000 cases of premature mortality
  • 200,000 heart attacks
  • 17 million lost work days
  • 2.4 million asthma attacks

You may read the entire report here.

 

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