NCPA: Lung Association Report Full of Hot Air

NCPA'S Burnett says "State of the Air" Report Unnecessarily Scary

DALLAS (April 30, 2002) -- In its annual "State of the Air" report, the American Lung Association (ALA) is expected to assert tomorrow (May 1, 2002) that "more than 142 million Americans live in areas where the air they breathe puts them in risk. Yet according to Dr. H. Sterling Burnett, senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), "their findings are misleading at best."

"The Lung Association wants to scare people into believing that America's air is poisonous and getting worse," said Burnett. "Unfortunately for them, their report doesn't match reality. Our air is cleaner than it has been in decades, and it is only getting better."

According to Burnett, the ALA report is intentionally misleading. For example:

  • The ALA artificially inflates ozone levels in dozens of counties as compared with official ozone monitoring data.
  • Clean areas of many counties are counted as having dirty air.
  • The ALA grading system is more rigorous than the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed new "8-hour" ozone standard.
  • The ALA assumes 40 percent of people are "sensitive" to and harmed by moderately elevated ozone levels, while health effects research shows that only a small fraction of people fall into this category.
  • The report implies that air pollution is getting worse, when in fact pollution levels have been dropping for at least 20 years in most areas, and only a handful of metro areas have serious ozone problems.

"Once again the environmental lobby is producing a report to scare people into supporting more stringent regulations," said Burnett. "It's just too bad their report is filled with B.S. - Bad Science."