SACRAMENTO, Cal. — In advance of a landmark decision on toxic diesel emissions by the California Air Resources Board, 17 leading health organizations released a letter this week urging passage of the strongest possible heavy-duty diesel vehicle rule, because of the serious toll diesel pollution takes on public health.
That toll particularly affects those most vulnerable, according to the American Lung Association, such as “children, whose lungs are still developing, and the elderly, whose immune systems are frail.”
Highlighting the fact that nearly half of all Californians live within one mile of a diesel hotspot with elevated cancer risk, the letter enumerates the multiple health impacts that result from inhalation of diesel exhaust including: an estimated 4,500 premature deaths; 71,000 cases of asthma and lower respiratory disease; more than 600 hospitalizations for heart disease and other health conditions; and $40 billion in annual costs from lost of life, hospitalization, and other health care expenses The letter can be found at www.alac.org.
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