Tell the EPA to protect our shared home from particle pollution

Andrew Wheeler, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency

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According to the American Lung Association, nearly 100,000 children in Houston and Harris County suffer from asthma.

The science is clear. It’s consistent. Exposure to tiny airborne particles in the air sends too many Americans to the hospital and the emergency room. It leads to too many premature deaths from lung disease, heart attacks, strokes, asthma and cancer.

These polluting particles, also known as soot, spew from power plants, cars and trucks and industrial facilities. They penetrate our lungs and cause some of the same diseases that are making COVID-19 more deadly. In Houston, widespread exposure to particle pollution contributed to more than 5,000 premature deaths and nearly $50 billion in economic damages in 2015 alone, a new analysis by the Harvard School of Public Health and Environmental Defense Fund found.

That's why the Environmental Protection Agency needs to strengthen the federal standard.

This spring, the agency’s own scientists found that strengthening it could save more than 10,000 American lives every year — but agency leadership didn’t listen. Former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, appointed by President Trump to head the EPA, ignored the science and decided to keep the outdated and inadequate standard.

So, let’s be clear: This is the wrong decision.

Together, we have the power to save 10,000 lives.

Wheeler’s decision opens up a 60-day period of public comments. They need to hear from us. Together, let’s make it clear that the EPA needs to listen to the science and protect our shared home from this deadly pollution.

That’s the right decision.

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To: Andrew Wheeler, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency
From: [Your Name]

SUBJECT: America needs stronger standards for particulate pollution

Dear Administrator Wheeler,

Every year, exposure to PM 2.5 causes tens of thousands of premature deaths in America. In 2017 alone, it was attributed to 85,000 deaths.

EPA has proposed retaining the outdated standard for particulate pollution, set nearly a decade ago, despite the agency’s new policy assessment demonstrating that this standard is inadequate to protect public health. I strongly disagree with this dangerous decision.

There is consistent scientific evidence that particulate pollution is linked to hospital admissions, emergency room visits, as well as early death due to lung disease, heart attacks, strokes, asthma and cancer.

And having air pollution-related heart and lung diseases increases the risk of dying from the novel coronavirus.

Please take action to safeguard us from this serious danger, with protections that are consistent with the overwhelming body of scientific evidence.