Tampa Prep 2009-2010 Impact Defense File

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AT: Air Polution


1. Air pollution has tons of causes – no way to solve them all

BROOK et al 04 M.D. and several other doctors writing for Circulation magazine from the American Heart Association [Circulation magazine Robert D. Brook, MD; Barry Franklin, PhD, Chair; Wayne Cascio, MD; Yuling Hong, MD, PhD; George Howard, PhD; Michael Lipsett, MD; Russell Luepker, MD; Murray Mittleman, MD, ScD; Jonathan Samet, MD; Sidney C. Smith, Jr, MD; Ira Tager, MD, “Air Pollution and the Cardiovascular Disease” June 1, 2004, http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/109/21/2655#SEC1/] k ward

A brief description of several individual air pollutants is provided first for background. A complete discussion is beyond the scope of this statement, and interested readers may find a more comprehensive review on this subject elsewhere.26 Particulate Matter Airborne Particulate Matter consists of a heterogeneous mixture of solid and liquid particles suspended in air, continually varying in size and chemical composition in space and time (Figure 1). Primary particles are emitted directly into the atmosphere, such as diesel soot, whereas secondary particles are created through physicochemical transformation of gases, such as nitrate and sulfate formation from gaseous nitric acid and sulfur dioxide (SO2), respectively. The numerous natural and anthropogenic sources of PM include motor vehicle emissions, tire fragmentation and resuspension of road dust, power generation and other industrial combustion, smelting and other metal processing, agriculture, construction and demolition activities, residential wood burning, windblown soil, pollens and molds, forest fires and combustion of agricultural debris, volcanic emissions, and sea spray. Although there are thousands of chemicals that have been detected in PM in different locations, some of the more common constituents include nitrates, sulfates, elemental and organic carbon, organic compounds (eg, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), biological compounds (eg, endotoxin, cell fragments), and a variety of metals (eg, iron, copper, nickel, zinc, and vanadium).

2. air quality improving – will continue

Schwartz 03 Adjunct Scholar @ Competitive Enterprise Institute [Joel Schwartz, “Particulate Air Pollution: weighing the risks” April 2003 http://cei.org/pdf/3452.pdf/] Kevin W. Prep ‘11

America’s air quality has vastly improved in recent decades due to progressive emission reductions from industrial facilities and motor vehicles. The country achieved this success despite substantial increases in population, automobile travel, and energy production. Air pollution will continue to decline, both because more recent vehicle models start out cleaner and stay cleaner as they age than earlier ones, and also because already-adopted standards for new vehicles and existing power plants and industrial facilities come into effect in the next few years.
3. Air pollution has no negative impact - multiple studies prove PLUS their evidence relies on media hype

Schwartz 03 Adjunct Scholar @ Competitive Enterprise Institute [Joel Schwartz, “Particulate Air Pollution: weighing the risks” April 2003 http://cei.org/pdf/3452.pdf/] Kevin W. Prep ‘11

PM and other air pollutants have been declining for decades. Current trends in vehicle-fleet turnover and already-adopted regulations for industrial sources of pollution ensure continued pollution declines in coming years. The case for long-term harm from current levels is relatively weak, while short-term changes in PM levels likely shorten life by no more than a matter of days. Despite this relatively optimistic picture, the public’s view of air pollution is just the opposite of reality. Numerous polls show most Americans believe that air pollution has been getting worse or will get worse in the future, and that air pollution is a serious threat to most people’s health.136 One reason for Americans’ misperception may be a series of reports from activist groups featuring alarmist rhetoric and misleading portrayals of air pollution levels and health effects.137 These reports come under scary titles such as “Darkening Skies;” “Death, Disease and Dirty Power;” and “Power to Kill;” and claim that power plant PM pollution causes 30,000 deaths per year, mainly from coal-fired power plants in the eastern United States. Each of these reports sources the 30,000 deaths claim back to a study commissioned by the Clean Air Task Force, a coalition of environmental groups, and carried out by consultants from Abt Associates.138 The Abt study bases its PM-induced mortality estimates on PM2.5 effects reported in the ACS cohort study. But, as shown above, the ACS results are likely spurious, suffering from confounding by non-pollution factors not accounted for in the ACS analysis. In addition, the Veterans study and the County study concluded that PM2.5 either has no effect on long-term mortality, or that the threshold for harm is somewhere above 20 μg/m3—well above PM2.5 levels at 97 percent of U.S. monitoring locations. Furthermore, the areas that do have PM2.5 greater than 20 μg/m3 are mainly located in southern California and California’s southern Central Valley, where there are no coal-fired power plants and electricity generation produces no sulfur dioxide and contributes only about 2 percent of regional NOx emissions. The evidence from toxicology studies also shows that sulfates—the portion of PM from coal-fired power plants—have no effect on health. Indeed, inhaled magnesium sulfate is used therapeutically to treat asthmatics. Given this evidence, the Abt report and the activist reports derived from it have vastly exaggerated the health damage from current levels of PM pollution and the health effects of power plant emissions. Readers of these reports would also never know that PM levels have been dropping and will continue to drop. For example, the Public Interest Research Group’s (PIRG) “Darkening Skies” reports that 300 power plants increased their SO2 emissions between 1995 and 2000. Once emitted, some SO2 gets converted into sulfate particulates through chemical reactions in the atmosphere. But PIRG never mentions that overall SO2 emissions declined 33 percent between 1973 and 1999; that total power plant SO2 emissions declined 29 percent from 1990 to 2000; and that federal law requires an additional 20 percent SO2 reduction from power plants between 2000 and 2010.139 PIRG also fails to mention that sulfate PM levels across the eastern U.S. have declined by 10 to 40 percent since the late 1980s, due to these SO2 reductions.140 Indeed, “Darkening Skies” contains no information at all on actual trends in pollutant emissions or actual PM levels in any community, despite the wealth of data available from hundreds of monitoring locations in populated areas around the country. Instead of providing the public with a realistic assessment of air quality, PIRG’s report misleads readers to draw conclusions grossly at odds with reality. Other activistgroup reports followed similar recipes, using superficially scary, but misleading statistics, while omitting information on actual air pollution levels, trends, and risks.141

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