COPD Foundation's Response to Proposed EPA Regulations Cutting Carbon Pollution

June 03, 2014

This week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the “Clean Power Plan” proposal to cut carbon emissions 30 percent by the year 2030.

This regulation is focused on cutting pollution and moving toward a cleaner environment. Outdoor air pollution is a significant trigger for exacerbations of COPD, leading to increased symptoms, possible emergency department visits and hospital admissions.

“The COPD Foundation embraces the proposed EPA regulations to cut carbon pollution. With more than 300 million individuals worldwide affected by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and total deaths expected to increase more than thirty percent in the next ten years, it is critical that strong measures be taken to limit carbon emissions and the associated particulates produced that can contribute to flares of the chronic lung disease. This is a tremendous step forward and one which could greatly impact the lives of the millions affected,” said Byron M. Thomashow, M.D., Chair, Board of Directors, COPD Foundation.

The EPA estimates “that future coal plant closures will lead to a 25 percent reduction in traditional air pollutants like soot, sulfur and nitrogen, which are linked to respiratory diseases,” according to a New York Times article.