National Environmental
Health Association Position on

Clean Air Act Amendments

Adopted May 1998

The National Environmental Health Association,

Recognizing that the United States Environmental Protection Agency has proposed new public health standards for ozone and particulate matter as a part of the Clean Air Act's National Ambient Air Quality Standards, and

Acknowledging that total particulate emissions in the United States exceed 875,000 tons each year, and

Acknowledging that, according to multiple studies1-5 ,the current standard of 10 microns is not protective of health, and

Acknowledging that ground level ozone is the primary ingredient of smog, and

Acknowledging that there is no health threshold for ozone 6-9, and

Recognizing that the proposed standards include a new fine particles standard (annual PM2.5; set at 15 micrograms per cubic meter and 24-hour PM2.5 standard set at 65 micrograms per cubic meter) and a new ozone standard (set at a concentration of 0.08 ppm over 8 hours) are supported by both scientific studies and an the independent Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee,

¹Pope CA III. Respiratory disease associated with community air pollution and a steel mill, Utah Valley. Am J Public Health 1989;79(5):623-8.
²Schwartz J, Dockery DW. Increased mortality in Philadelphia associated with daily air pollution concentrations. Am Rev Resp Dis 1992;145(3):600-4.
³Schwartz J, Dockery DW. Particulate air pollution and daily mortality in Steubenville, Ohio. Am J Epidemiol 1992;135(1):12-9.
4Dockery DW, Pope CA III, Xu X, Spengler JD, Ware JH, Fay ME, et al. An association between air pollution and mortality in six U.S. cities. N Engl J Med 1993;329(24):1753-9.
5Dockery DW, Brunekreef B. Longitudinal studies of air pollution effects on lung function. Am J Resp Crit Care Med 1996;154(6/2):S250-6.
6Peden DB, Boehlecke B, Horstman D, Devlin R. Prolonged acute exposure to 0.16 ppm ozone induces eosinophilic airway inflammation in asthmatic subjects with allergies. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1997;100(6/1):802-8.
7Frampton MW, Balmes JR, Cox C, Krein PM, Speers DM, Tsai Y, Utell MJ. Effects of ozone on normal and potentially sensitive human subjects. Part III: Mediators of inflammation in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from nonsmokers, smokers, and asthmatic subjects exposed to ozone: a collaborative study. Research Report ? Health Effects Institute 1997;(78):73-9.
8Peden DB. Mechanisms of pollution induced airway disease: in vivo studies. Allergy 1997;52(38 Suppl):37-44.
9Anonymous. Health effects of outdoor air pollution. Committee of the Environmental and Occupational Health Assembly of the American Thoracic Society. Am J Resp Crit Care Med 1996;153(1):3-50.
Be it therefore resolved that the National Environmental Health Association supports the above proposed changes to the Clean Air Act, as set forth by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

(Original paper prepared by Ginger L. Gist, Ph.D., DAAS, Senior Environmental Health Scientist, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry)

Return to NEHA Position Page
Return to Main Menu

Send comments or suggestions for this page to NEHA WebMaster