Asthma And Carbon Pollution

If politicians in Washington were struggling to breathe like severely asthmatic children, then maybe many in Congress wouldn’t be trying to gut clean air standards.  This TV ad from Mom’s Clean Air Force is designed to raise public awareness of EPA’s new safeguards against industrial carbon pollution from new power plants. The ad reflects the growing body of scientific evidence that warming temperatures caused by industrial carbon pollution worsen smog pollution, which in turn causes asthma attacks and other respiratory illnesses.  The Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed first-ever safeguards against industrial carbon pollution from new power plants.

Carbon pollution causes climate change, whose rising temperatures worsen health-harming air pollution.  Fossil fuel-fired power plants are responsible for 40 percent of man-made carbon dioxide emissions.  [NRDC, 3/5/12; EPA Clean Energy Webpage, Accessed 12/2/11]

  • Stanford University Study Directly Links Carbon Dioxide Emissions to Increased Human Mortality.  The study concludes that each increase of 1 degree Celsius caused by carbon dioxide would result in air pollution that would lead annually to about a thousand additional deaths in the US and about 21,000 deaths worldwide.  [Jacobson, M. Z. (2008), On the causal link between carbon dioxide and air pollution mortality, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L03809, doi:10.1029/2007GL031101.]
  • EPA Determined that Greenhouse Gases (Which Include Carbon Pollution) Increase the Risk of Respiratory Illness and Death.  On December 7, 2009, the EPA found that “current and projected concentrations of the six key well-mixed greenhouse gases [carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, HFCs, PFC, and SF6] … in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations.”  EPA also states that “climate change is expected to increase regional ozone pollution, with associated risks in respiratory illnesses and premature death.”  [EPA, 12/7/09]
  • ALA States That Greenhouse Gases (Which Include Carbon Pollution) Will Increase Pollution Levels That Harm Human Health.    “Scientists warn that the buildup of greenhouse gases and the climate changes caused by it will create conditions…which will increase the risk of unhealthful ambient ozone levels.  Breathing ozone may lead to serious harm to health, including premature death, shortness of breath and chest pain…and increased risk of asthma attacks.” [ALA, 4/14/11]