A Historic Step in the Right Direction for Clean Air

Topics: Air pollution, Global warming, United States Environmental Protection Agency Pages: 3 (724 words) Published: February 24, 2013
Why is EPA Moving to Limit Industrial Carbon Pollution?


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Climate Change Heat Deaths in Top U.S. Cities

America’s power plants are our biggest industrial polluters. Each year they pump more than two billion tons of carbon dioxide into the air. Carbon pollution is causing climate change that drives dangerous heat waves and worsening smog pollution, which causes asthma attacks and other serious respiratory illnesses.

Thus climate change looms as one of our most serious public health threats; yet few people are aware of the many dangers posed by a warming planet.

These include:

Air Pollution: Warming temperatures worsen smog pollution, which triggers asthma attacks and permanently damages and reduces the function of children’s lungs. Higher smog levels even contribute to premature deaths. Heat-related Disease and Illness: As temperatures rise, so do deaths and illnesses related to heat stress, heatstroke, cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease. Infectious Disease: Climate change affects patterns of diseases such as dengue fever, West Nile virus, and Lyme disease. Increasing temperatures and rainfall have been associated with increased occurrence and transmission of insect-borne diseases like West Nile virus. Higher temperatures can lead to more rapid development of dangerous pathogens within insect carriers and allow these diseases to expand their range into new, once cooler, regions. Approximately 173 million Americans in at least 28 states live in counties with mosquitoes that can carry dengue fever, a painful viral illness that has increased globally 30-fold in the last 50 years. Drought: Projected temperature increases in the summer will increase the likelihood of water shortages and drought, threatening the availability of water for drinking and irrigation. Droughts harm crops,...
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