For Immediate Release
January 6, 2023
Program Manager, Climate & Clean Energy Advocacy
Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments
Nurses Weigh in on EPA’s Underwhelming Proposed Updates to National Particulate Matter Standards
Washington, D.C.- This morning The Environmental Protection Agency released proposed updates to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Fine Particulate Matter. Executive Director of The Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, Katie Huffling issued the following statement:
“Nurses are disappointed in EPA’s refusal to implement necessary limits on deadly particulate matter pollution. Both science and health data show that stronger limits at the levels of 8 µg/m3 for the annual standard and 25 µg/m3 for the 24-hour standard are necessary to protect vulnerable populations and prevent further health harms to the public.
“Every day in our practice, nurses are witnessing and treating conditions brought on by particulate matter pollution. From asthma exacerbations, COPD, and heart disease, to preterm birth and birth defects nurses are seeing the real health consequences of this under regulated pollutant. EPA’s failure to set stronger standards on particulate matter is a missed opportunity to protect public health and foster long overdue health equity measures greatly needed by overburdened communities.
“Retaining the 24-hour standard and not adjusting to the recommended 25 µg/m3 leaves already overburdened communities subject to varying spikes of known, harmful pollution. By failing to address these unhealthy spikes, we are prone to replicate and further entrench environmental injustices through continued deadly air exposures.
“Across the country, nurses will continue to advocate for healthy air, our patients, and our communities and will continue to urge EPA to strengthen the final standards and to finalize this proposal no later than August 2023.”
About The Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments
The Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments is the only national nursing organization focused solely on the intersection of health and the environment. The mission of the Alliance is to promote healthy people and healthy environments by educating and leading the nursing profession, advancing research, incorporating evidence-based practice, and influencing policy.