The Center has a tighter standard for determining smog nonattainment than EPA. Our standard is: if you can see the air, it is not healthy to breathe. The EPA proposal moves us in the direction of assuring that we cannot see the air we breathe. Thus, we support reconsideration of the identical primary and secondary ozone standards that were set at 0.075 ppm in 2008.Exposure to smog is linked to a number of serious health problems, ranging from aggravation of asthma to increased risk of premature death in people with heart or lung disease. The agency is proposing to reconsider the ozone standards that were set at 0.075 ppm in 2008 and to set a new “primary” standard at a level between 0.060 and 0.070 parts per million measured over eight hours. EPA is also proposing to set a separate, seasonal “secondary” standard to protect the environment, especially plants and trees.
As a chronic asthmatic with a history of acute attacks, I am personally invested in this proposal to strengthen the nation’s air quality standards for ground-level ozone (smog). I was intubated for four days in an intensive care unit due to a smog-induced asthma attack in July 1991. I was intubated again for four days in 1996 with another smog and toxic chemical-induced asthma attack. There were numerous visits to the emergency room during the past two decades. Exposure to smog clearly increased my risk of a premature death and ultimately was a primary component in turning me into a chronic asthmatic. Clearly, the earlier standards were not sufficient to protect my health.
EPA Ground Level Ozone