News of the WeekAIR POLLUTION

Evidence Mounts That Tiny Particles Can Kill

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Science  07 Jul 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5476, pp. 22-23
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5476.22

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Four years ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ignited a fire storm when it declared that tens of thousands of people were dying each year from breathing tiny particles of dust and soot--and issued tough new regulations to crack down on these pollutants. Industry groups and many scientists assailed the decision, arguing that the data underlying the new particulate matter standard were inconclusive at best, and industry took their case to court. Now, a long-awaited study, by a group widely perceived to be politically neutral, comes in solidly behind the earlier EPA decision and strongly implicates particles in excess deaths.