“Voces Verdes applauds the Environmental Protection Agency for finalizing air quality standards for fine particulate matter, or soot. The new stronger soot protections will make our air cleaner nationwide and reduce health problems across the country including preventing approximately 15,000 premature deaths every year.
“For Latino families struggling with the impacts of air pollution and the heavy burden of health care costs, these updated standards are a welcome and much needed,” said Dr. Elena Rios, President & CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association. The new standards are expected to save $118 billion in health costs annually.
“Latino small businesses have been growing exponentially, added Roberto Carmona, Crimson Leadership Group. “They cannot afford rising health care costs and lost work days caused by air pollution.”
Soot particles are released into the air by burning dirty fuels like coal. Soot is made up very small particles of dangerous metals and chemicals that can deposit deep within the lungs and enter the blood stream.
“Even at very low levels, exposure to soot is harmful to human health,” said Adrianna Quintero of Voces Verdes. “This new standard considers the latest science on soot and takes steps to address this risk.”
Soot is released from smokestacks, diesel trucks, wood-burning stoves and other sources and contributes to haze. “For the large Latino community that lives in areas where there is heavy diesel truck traffic and the neighborhoods that are surrounded by smokestacks, this updated standard is urgently needed,” said Mark Magana of the National Latino Coalition on Climate Change. “Limiting soot pollution will enable us to breathe cleaner air and improve our quality of life.”
Read the press release in Spanish.