EPA: Greenhouse Gasses Are Health Threat
April 17, 2009 -- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes declaring greenhouse gasses a threat to public health, setting the stage for a broad debate on climate change this summer in Washington.
The agency says that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses from power plants, cars, and other sources can harm human health directly. Ground-level ozone, for example, can contribute to asthma and other lung diseases.
But the EPA also says global warming will have broader health effects on the population. The agency found in July that global warming could increase rates of heat stroke, infectious diseases, drownings due to higher water levels, more frequent and intense wildfires, and water-quality problems.
"In both magnitude and probability, climate change is an enormous problem. The greenhouse gases that are responsible for it endanger public health and welfare within the meaning of the Clean Air Act," the EPA says.