Letter to the Editor: Clean Air Act

Hope Rosen

The Clean Air Act is a very important piece of legislation that can potentially save thousands of lives in the future. Its purpose is to protect human health and the environment from emissions that pollute ambient, or outdoor, air. The Environmental Protection Agency is required to establish national standards for air quality, and assigns responsibilities to states to assure compliance with the standards.

I have just recently read the article, “EPA Report Underscores Clean Air Act’s Successful Public Health Protections/Landmark law,” from the EPA’s website that stated that the Clean Air Act has saved 160,000 lives in 2010 and will save approximately 230,000 people from an early death in 2020 because of its successful public health protection.

According to the article, the Clean Air Act is successful in preventing people from an early death, heart attacks, asthma attacks, and it is reducing the number of sick days for employees. The article states that in 2010 alone, “the reductions in fine particle and ozone pollution from the Clean Air Act has prevented more than 160,000 cases of premature mortality, 130,000 heart attacks, 13 million lost work days and 1.7 million asthma attacks.” It is also predicted that in 2020 the Clean Air Act will have prevented more than “230,000 cases of premature mortality, 200,000 heart attacks, 17 million lost work days and 2.4 million asthma attacks.”

The Clean Air Act was created to protect human health and the environment from pollutants in the outdoor air, and as you can see, the Clean Air Act is very successful and is only going to become more successful in the near future.