ATS Applauds EPA's Proposed Rules to Limit Carbon Emissions from New Power Plants
Source Newsroom: American Thoracic Society (ATS)
Newswise — The American Thoracic Society is pleased that President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are moving forward with proposed rules to reduce carbon emissions from new power plants.
“Climate change caused by carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases is known to have a number of adverse effects on human health, including respiratory health,” said John R. Balmes, MD, chair of the ATS Environmental Health Policy Committee. “These include asthma exacerbations,,increases in hospital and emergency room visits, and increased mortality among individuals with preexisting cardiopulmonary disease.”
“The evidence base supporting the link between climate change and adverse health consequences, which comes from a number of scientific disciplines, is extensive,” said Dr. Balmes.
A recent ATS workshop report on the Respiratory Health Effects of Global Climate Change enumerated a number of the adverse effects on respiratory health of global climate change, which include:
• changing pollen releases impacting asthma and allergic rhinitis,
• heat waves causing critical care–related diseases,
• climate-driven air pollution increases exacerbating asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cardiovascular diseases,
• desertification increasing particulate matter (PM) exposures,
• and climate-related changes in food and water security impacting infectious respiratory disease through malnutrition (pneumonia, upper respiratory infections).
The ATS supports research to explore the human health effects of climate change and supports state, federal and international policy coordination to develop adaptive strategies to respond to the predicted human health effects of climate change.
“We support the efforts of President Obama and the EPA to reduce the harmful emissions of greenhouse gasses from power plants and call on the U.S. to lead an international effort to reduce global emissions of these gases,” said Dr. Balmes. “The rules proposed today are a strong step in the right direction toward mitigating climate change.”
For further comment, Dr. Balmes, professor in residence at the University of California, San Francisco, can be reached at email@example.com.