EPA Strengthens Air Quality Standard for Nitrogen Dioxide

The EPA just released the first new Nitrogen Dioxide standard in 35 years which will improve air quality for millions.

“This new 1-hour standard is designed to protect the air we breathe and reduce health threats for millions of Americans. For the first time ever, we are working to prevent short-term exposures in high risk NO2 zones like urban communities and areas near roadways,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Improving air quality is a top priority for this EPA. We’re moving into the clean, sustainable economy of the 21st century, defined by expanded innovation, stronger pollution standards and healthier communities.”

Exposure to nitrogen dioxide has been linked to asthma and hindering the effectiveness of the use of asthma inhalers.  The chemical has also been known to reduce the ability to fight off respiratory infections in those who have an impaired immune system.

Along with this new standard, the EPA will be establishing new monitoring requirements in urban areas that will measure levels of nitrogen dioxide around major roads and across the community.  The EPA plans to set up at least 40 monitors in locations to help protect communities that are susceptible and vulnerable to elevated levels of nitrogen dioxide.

For more information you can visit http://www.epa.gov/air/nitrogenoxides