Friday, August 04, 2006

Smog Savages 38 States in July

Smog Savages 38 States in July,
Notes Clean Air Watch Report

Infant Deaths Cited by California Researchers

Washington, DC. August 2, 2006 – With the Washington, D.C. area gasping under a “code red” alert, the non-profit Clean Air Watch today reported that breathers in 38 states plus the District of Columbia gasped through serious smog problems in July.

The Clean Air Watch Smog Survey was released as researchers in California reported that outdoor air pollution is causing increased deaths among infants.

Clean Air Watch noted the heat wave that has rocked the nation also brought a “blanket of smog” from California to Maine.

Public health standards for ozone, or smog, were breached more than 1,000 times at state-run air pollution monitors in July, according to the survey by Clean Air Watch volunteers. The total was a slight increase over July 2005, continuing a 2006 trend.

“Over the years, we have made progress against smog,” noted Frank O’Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch. “But this survey shows that we have a long way to go before we can take an easy breath.”

He called on the U.S. EPA to make good on an “overdue” promise to clean up high-polluting diesel freight trains and boats. Noting that existing diesel engines remain a huge source of pollution, O’Donnell observed that “Congressional cheapskates have cut President Bush’s budget request to clean up existing dirty diesel engines.”

O’Donnell added that “unless we start getting serious about global warming,” predicted increases in global temperatures could mean continued smog problems in the future. “And that will mean more asthma attacks, disease, and death.”

Infant death from pollution was the focus of the new study by researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles. In a study to be published in the journal Pediatrics
The scientists found increased sudden infant death syndrome and other increased deaths among infants in Southern California exposed to outdoor air pollution.

Details of the Clean Air Watch survey are available through Clean Air Watch and at