EPA Declares Greenhouse Gases A Threat To Public Health
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, has officially declared greenhouse gases a threat to public health and the environment, asking for regulation of the emission gases under the Clean Air Act. EPA claims science overwhelmingly shows greenhouse gas concentrations at unprecedented levels due to human activity, which "threaten the public health and welfare of the American people." The EPA administrator Lisa Jackson noted that the findings mark 2009 as the year when the United States Government began addressing the challenge of greenhouse-gas pollution.
But, how exactly can greenhouse gases threaten public health in America? The EPA explains that greenhouse gases -- carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride -- can threaten the health of the sick, poor or elderly, people suffering from asthma and other respiratory illness.
The EPA announcement came as the UN Climate Change Conference kicked off in Copenhagen, Denmark today. The government of the United States pledged to reduce emissions by 17% by year 2020.
For more climate change news, check out NowPublic's Copenhagen Summit feature channel.