A federal court recently ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to approve a proposed update to soot standards within one week. The EPA was brought to court by the American Lung Association and the National Parks Conservation Association. A multistate coalition also sought an update after the EPA missed an October 2011 legal deadline for amending previous standards.
"We’re truly heartened by today’s court action. The EPA has been sitting on a rule that could save tens of thousands of avoidable premature deaths. This court decision is a win for everyone who breathes," said Earthjustice attorney Paul Cort in a statement.
Experts have associated soot and other fine particulate matter pollution with tens of thousands of early deaths a year. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management claims approximately 50 state residents die a year from heart disease caused in part by soot pollution. Rhode Island was just one state that participated in the previously mentioned coalition.
Homeowners wary of the hazy cloud of smog above their heads can invest in a home air purifier to reduce their long-term exposure to soot. By removing the presence of fine particulate matter in the house, a person can feel safer and breathe easier.