The ATS (American Thoracic Society) applauds the U.S. EPA, which today issued a final rule to reduce particulate matter (PM) air pollution. The final rule lowers that annual particulate matter standard from 12 ug/m3 to 9 ug/m3. The EPA has retained the current daily PM standard of 35 ug/m3.
PM pollution, or soot, is a dangerous form of air pollution. Exposure to particulate matter is harmful for everyone, but it is especially dangerous for persons with underlying respiratory and cardiovascular disease. Particle pollution is well-known to cause asthma and COPD exacerbations, heart attacks, hospitalizations, and death. The science is clear, the previous EPA PM standard was not protective of public health.