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PO Box 1070, Frankfort, KY 40602  Phone 502.875.2428, Fax 502.875.2845

Health Effects Committee of Louisville Air Quality Task Force Recommends Continuing Effort To Reduce Ozone Pollution Below Current Federal Standards  Posted: November 16, 2005
Louisville Metro Air Quality Task Force
Health Effect Committee
October 25, 2005

Health Effects at the Federal 8-Hour Ozone Standard
Report and Recommendation

Whereas, the Health Effects Committee of the Air Quality Task Force has received and reviewed a substantial body of evidence relating to the adverse health effects of ozone, and finds as follows:

1. The potential adverse health impacts of exposure to ozone air pollution are significant and include reduced pulmonary function, increased respiratory symptoms, airway hyperreactivity and airway inflammation, in addition to premature mortality, increased hospital admissions for cardiopulmonary causes, and exacerbation of bronchitis, asthma, and respiratory symptoms. The groups most at risk of experiencing adverse responses include children and adults who are active outdoors, and outdoor workers.

2. Controlled human exposure studies demonstrating decrements in pulmonary function, increased respiratory symptoms, increased airway reactivity and induction of airways inflammation in healthy and asthmatic adults exposed for 6.6 to 8 hours to 0.08 parts per million (ppm) ozone, suggest that the current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 8-hour standard for ozone is not protective of human health with an adequate margin of safety, and that peak and average exposure values below the current 8-hour standard (0.084 ppm) should be achieved and not be exceeded.

3. The health benefits of reducing ozone from current levels to the adopted California standards for ozone (0.070 ppm 8-hour, 0.09 1-hour) are substantial, including reductions in premature deaths; reduced hospitalizations related to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease, and other respiratory diseases, including bronchitis, and asthma; and reduction in statewide school absenteeism.

Therefore, it is recommended that the full Air Quality Task Force make this recommendation to the Air Pollution Control Board and to the legislative and executive branches of Metro Government:

1. The Air Quality Task Force recognizes that the Louisville 8-hour ozone nonattainment area is eligible for redesignation as being in attainment with the 8-hour ozone standard.

2. The Air Quality Task Force further recognizes that additional reductions below the current regulatory standard are both necessary and advisable to provide a margin of safety that allows for, and compensates for, scientific uncertainty, as well as the lack of precise predictions regarding the health impacts of air pollutants on a multiplicity of potentially susceptible subpopulations.

3. For these reasons, and to protect public health with an adequate margin of safety, the Air Quality Task Force recommends that the Air Pollution Control Board establish an ongoing and continuous process of review of all sources and categories of ozone precursor emissions, and develop and implement policies, practices, and standards to continue progress towards reduction in ambient concentrations of ozone and precursor pollutants. In the development of such policies, practices, and standards, strategies that also achieve lower emissions of fine particulates, fine particulate precursors, or hazardous air pollutants should be prioritized.

4. Recognizing the regional nature of air quality in the Louisville area, the Air Quality Task Force recommends that the Air Pollution Control Board encourage the Kentucky Division for Air Quality and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to take congruent and complimentary actions to reduce ambient concentrations of ozone and precursor pollutants.

5. The Air Quality Task Force further advises that it has begun a process of reviewing and refining a list of strategies to achieve such additional reductions or to moderate growth in precursor emissions and to identify those areas in which reductions achieving multiple public health and air quality improvement endpoints are possible.


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