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Almost a dozen states are suing EPA over soot regulations

After the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) failed to meet a statutory October deadline to revise soot standards, 11 states filed a lawsuit earlier this month, according to the New York Office of the Attorney General.

"Every day, air pollution, from soot risks the health of more than one-third of Americans, including our most vulnerable - children, the elderly and the sick," New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a prepared statement. "These risks are simply unacceptable. The EPA must take prompt action to reduce pollution now, and safeguard the health of the public and the air we breathe.’"

Soot has been linked to chronic respiratory disease, impaired lung function, heart disease and asthma. California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington are the states involved in the lawsuit. Homeowners seeking to decrease their exposure to toxins such as soot should invest in a home air purifier to protect their health.

Until the EPA sets tougher new standards to limit fine particle pollution, citizens are at risk of breathing in harmful toxins.