Monday, October 18, 2021
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Trouble in the Air – Environment Maine

There is no “safe” level of air pollution

The pollution in America’s air causes hundreds of thousands of premature deaths every year and contributes to health problems ranging from asthma to dementia.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and studies in the Journal of the American Medical AssociationEnvironmental Health Perspectives, and the New England Journal of Medicine have all concluded that any level of air pollution causes measurable health impacts.

Moreover, current EPA standards for allowable levels of air pollution include levels beyond those the WHO and other bodies consider acceptable. The EPA standard for ozone is 70 parts per billion (ppb) over 8 hours, while the WHO’s guidelines recommend 51 ppb. Similarly, the EPA’s standard for allowable fine particulates (PM2.5) in the air is more than twice as high as the WHO’s 2021 guidelines for protecting public health.

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