EPA sets new standard on airborne soot

The Clean Air Board applauded the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to set a  stronger national air quality standard on fine particulate matter (PM2.5), also known as soot – one of the nation’s most lethal air pollutants. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set limits on these airborne microscopic particles, following the findings by independent scientists that this pollutant causes premature death at levels well below what was considered safe.

The EPA tightened the limit, called the national ambient air quality standards, for the annual average level of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) to 12 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) from the outdated standard set in 1997 of 15 µg/m3.  “We have been waiting for this update of the national standard for a long time.” said Thomas Au, Clean Air Board president.  “The public health studies supports strengthening the annual standard. Letting the public know where the air is dirty and dangerous is the first step to improving our health.”

For more info: <a href="http://www.epa.gov/air/particlepollution/2012/decfsstandards.pdf

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