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Capitol Health Call
February 8, 2012

Clean Air Standards

JAMA. 2012;307(6):553. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.91

It took more than 20 years, but on December 21, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, an action mandated by passage of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments.

The standards are designed to regulate and lower power plant emissions of mercury and toxic air pollution. The EPA estimates the new standards may prevent 4200 to 11 000 premature deaths, 4700 myocardial infarctions, 130 000 cases of childhood asthma attacks, and 6300 cases of acute pediatric bronchitis each year.

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