The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a new national air quality standard for the gas nitrogen dioxide. The goal of the new standard is to protect millions of Americans from exposure to this gas, which has been linked to harming the respiratory system.
“This new one-hour standard is designed to protect the air we breathe and reduce health threats for millions of Americans,” said Lisa Jackson, EPA administrator 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.”
She continued, “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.”
EPA plans to identify areas that are not meeting these new standards by winter of 2012. The agency also recently made a proposal to improve the smog standards to further protect Americans.