Significant Health Benefits Seen With Meeting ATS Air Quality Standard

Compared with meeting EPA standards alone, this would prevent 11,850 more deaths, 25,400 more morbidities
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THURSDAY, Jan. 20, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Meeting the American Thoracic Society (ATS)-recommended air quality standards (limit long-term fine particular matter to 8 µg/m3) would yield significant health benefits, according to a study published recently in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Kevin R. Cromar, Ph.D., from the Marron Institute of Urban Management at New York University in New York City, and colleagues used the most recent federal air quality data to provide country-level estimates of annual air pollution-related health outcomes across the United States. Daily air pollution values were obtained from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Air Quality System from 2017 to 2019. The health impacts were estimated in association with the differences in pollution concentrations detected versus the concentrations that meet the ATS recommendations and EPA standards.

The researchers found that meeting the ATS recommendations throughout the country would prevent an estimated 14,650 deaths; 2,950 lung cancer incidence events; 33,100 morbidities; and 39.8 million affected days per year. Compared with meeting EPA standards alone, this would prevent 11,850 more deaths; 2,580 more lung cancer incidence events; 25,400 more morbidities; and 27.2 million more impacted days.

"These recommendations, if implemented, would be expected to save thousands of lives," Cromar said in a statement. "On the other hand, the current EPA standards expose the American public to pollution levels that are known to result in significant morbidity and mortality."

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