For Immediate Release: December 21, 2011
Trust for Americaís Health Statement on the Final Mercury and Air Toxics Rule: A Win-Win for the Nationís Health and Economy
Washington, D.C., December 21, 2011 – Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) applauds the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for releasing a final Mercury and Air Toxics Rule, which will save up to 17,000 lives, prevent 11,000 non-fatal heart attacks and avert 12,000 hospital and emergency room visits, according an analysis by the EPA.
An analysis released by TFAH and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), available at http://healthyamericans.org/report/91/, in November estimated that this rule could translate to more than $22 billion in savings through 2021 in health care costs for Medicare, Medicaid, private insurers and individuals and families out of pocket spending.
“This new standard, over twenty years in the making, is a critical addition to the Clean Air Act to protect the public’s health,” said Jeff Levi, PhD, Executive Director of TFAH.
The toxicity of mercury has long been linked to drastic human health consequences, most notably severe impairment of neurological development in infants, children and pregnant women, mercury poisoning, and other severe health consequences. In addition to mercury, the rule will control emissions of 83 other hazardous air pollutants, including arsenic, chromium, toxic gases like benzene, acid gases like hydrogen chloride, and many others.
“This rule is an incredibly important component of our national efforts to prevent chronic disease and illness, control health care spending and keep people happy, healthy and productive. It is a win-win for the nation’s health and economy,” Levi said.
Trust for America’s Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. www.healthyamericans.org