Proposed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards fail to protect public health and must be made stronger, according to John Kirkwood, CEO of the American Lung Association.
On April 17th Kirkwood submitted formal comments to the agency regarding the organization’s proposal for new national air quality standards for particle air pollution.
The Association joined with several environmental organizations including Environmental Defense, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthjustice, and the Appalachian Mountain Club in submitting comments on protecting public health.
National standards for air quality drive most of the work done to clean up the air in the country, said Kirkwood.
“EPA must follow the science and set standards that truly protect our health, including protections for those who are most vulnerable to particle pollution,” he wrote.
In other Association news Dr. Norman Edelman, Chief Medical Officer of the organization said regarding Advair, an asthma medication, that recent media coverage regarding the adverse effects of the drug, which includes the ingredient salmeterol as one of its components, has raised concerns.
“The American Lung Association focuses on educating asthma patients about the proper ways to control their disease and endorses the guidelines on treating asthma formulated by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s National Asthma Education and Prevention Program,” he said. “The more we learn about how air pollution affects the lungs, the more urgent it is becoming to take precautions to protect yourself outdoors on unhealthy air days.”
The Association has partnered with Lotsa Helping Hands to expand resources for patients and caregivers. The web-based caregiver coordination service offers virtual support for daily tasks. The site can be accessed at lungusa.org.
Spring fever is great for the soul but tough times for asthma and allergies. The Association offers a healthy checklist as the old and young prepare to go outdoors.
As winter-weary Americans burst outside to exercise, play, and dig into yard work millions of people may be at risk for flare-ups of lung disease due to high pollen levels and/or outdoor air pollution that can reach unhealthy levels any day.
More than 35 million Americans have chronic lung disease including 20 million with asthma like myself.
For some children and adults their asthma is triggered by exercise, which can impact anyone such as a toddler running through a playground.
The Association suggests people follow these lung health tips for spring activities:
Know the pollen level.
Check local air pollution levels online at epa.gov/airnow, in the newspaper, or t.v.
Bring your rescue inhaler with you.
Take your rescue inhaler before exercising if your doctor has prescribed that.
Pay close attention to children.
Limit outdoor exercise during Orange and Red air pollution days on the Air Quality Index.