Environmental policy changes by Trump may cause 80,000 more deaths, says study

DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Jun 15, 2018, 1:42 pm IST
Updated Jun 15, 2018, 1:42 pm IST
Duo argue changing policies could cause respiratory problems for more than one million people over a decade, a lot of them being children.
The essay adds to a growing debate about what many see as an assault by the Trump administration on policies regarding environmental health.
 The essay adds to a growing debate about what many see as an assault by the Trump administration on policies regarding environmental health.

A Harvard study now finds that Trump's environmental policy roll-backs might cause 80,000 more deaths a decade from chemical exposure and respiratory illnesses.

According to David Cutler, a public-health economist, and Francesca Dominici, a biostatistician, say that figure is 'an extremely conservative estimate' in an essay published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

 

According to them, rolling back the Clean Power Plan will lead to an estimated 36,000 deaths and a repeal of emission requirements for certain vehicles will lead to an estimated 14,000 deaths.

The duo argue that changing policies could cause respiratory problems as well for more than one million people over a decade, a lot of them being children.

The essay adds to a growing debate about what many see as an assault by the Trump administration on policies regarding environmental health.

Cutler and Dominici reviewed eight EPA policy actions either in progress or that have been proposed.

The EPA policy actions include a repeal of the Clean Power Plan, a rollback of Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards or automobiles, and revoking the Waters of the United States Rule - which are Obama-era rules for clean air, chemical and water, respectively.

The scientists argue that many of the repeals and rollbacks will expose Americans to atmospheric particulate matter, popularly known as smog.

Smog contains a pollutant called ozone, which has been proven to be harmful to human health.

Ozone can aggravate health problems such as asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis and other respiratory problems. It can also reduce resistance to colds and lung infections.

The two researchers say that changes in air quality will have the most detrimental  consequences on public health.

They estimate that repealing Obama's Clean Power Plan alone would lead to 36,000 deaths and 630,000 cases of respiratory infection in children within the next decade. 

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