New Ozone Regulations Will Save Lots of Imaginary People

Shaghai-air-pollution

The skyline of Shanghai, China showing air pollution

Guest essay by Charles Battig

Now I can finally relax, take a deep breath, and breathe easier.  The Environmental Protection Agency, an aggressive arm of the nanny government, has just issued new air quality standards that mandate that the new “safe” level of ozone in the air we breathe shall be lowered from the current 75 parts per billion to 70 ppb.  I feel better already, perhaps.

I also feel better for all the theoretical lives that will be saved, according to EPA sponsored studies such as this one.  However, my joy is tempered by the realization that  those are not real lives saved – rather, they are “estimated deaths saved,” as in “We applied health impact assessment methodology to estimate numbers of deaths and other adverse health outcomes that would have been avoided during 2005, 2006, and 2007 if the current (or lower) NAAQS ozone standards had been met. Estimated reductions in ozone concentrations were interpolated according to geographic area and year, and concentration–response functions were obtained or derived from the epidemiological literature.

Thus, the fewer ozone deaths will be taking place in a computer-generated fantasy world, where epidemiological data-torturing takes place by bits and bytes, not in the hospital admission records for real-life patients.  The referenced paper concludes:

“We estimated that annual numbers of avoided ozone-related premature deaths would have ranged from 1, 410 to 2, 480 at 75 ppb to 2, 450 to 4, 130 at 70 ppb, and 5, 210 to 7, 990 at 60 ppb. Acute respiratory symptoms would have been reduced by 3 million cases and school-loss days by 1 million cases annually if the current 75-ppb standard had been attained. Substantially greater health benefits would have resulted if the CASAC-recommended range of standards (70–60 ppb) had been met.”

Such papers are used to justify the EPA’s claims that “[s]tudies indicate that exposure to ozone at levels below 75 ppb — the level of the current standard – can pose serious threats to public health, harm the respiratory system, cause or aggravate asthma and other lung diseases, and is linked to premature death from respiratory and cardiovascular causes.”  Lowering of atmospheric ozone concentration is presented as a win for health and associated increased energy costs:

“EPA estimates that the benefits of meeting the proposed standards will significantly outweigh the costs. If the standards are finalized, every dollar we invest to meet them will return up to three dollars in health benefits. These large health benefits will be gained from avoiding asthma attacks, heart attacks, missed school days and premature deaths, among other health effects valued at $6.4 to $13 billion annually in 2025 for a standard of 70 ppb, and $19 to $38 billion annually in 2025 for a standard of 65 ppb. Annual costs are estimated at $3.9 billion in 2025 for a standard of 70 ppb, and $15 billion for a standard at 65 ppb.”

As a physician, I am intrigued, if not put off, by the EPA concept of “premature deaths.”  How am I to know that that unfortunate patient, who has just died, died prematurely?  If asked, he would undoubtedly claim that he had died before his time, no matter the actual cause.  All deaths are “premature” when viewed subjectively.  The answer lies within the all-knowing, EPA-sponsored computers, as in “health assessment methodology” that claim the ability to define who died before their time.

When independent epidemiological researchers examine real-world patients, real-world hospital admissions, and real-world medical records, the EPA health claims are not validated.  In smoggy central California, such a study reported:

“Average ground-level ozone (O3) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) measurements were not correlated with 19,327 patient admissions for asthma at the University of California-Davis Medical Center (UCDMC) during 2010-2012.”  Another study concluded: “Overwhelming epidemiologic evidence now indicates that there is no relationship in California between PM and total mortality [also known as ‘premature deaths.’]”  Yet another study: “[T]he empirical evidence is that current levels of air quality, ozone and PM2.5, are not causally related to acute deaths for California. An empirical and logical case can be made air quality is not causally related to acute deaths for the rest of the United States.”

Surely smoggy air must be unhealthy.  It must be, because it looks so bad.  The poster child for such smoggy air is Shanghai, China, where newspaper pictures depict a yellow haze obscuring the visibility of buildings.  However, the average lifespan there is 82.5 years, bettering the reported lifespan in any major U.S. city.

Surely pristine nature would be the place to avoid smoggy air.  Millions visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in spite of the off-putting name.  When it is nature, it is smoky; when man-made, it is smog.  Yet the basic chemical process is the same.  Native conifers emit organic compounds known as terpenes, which interact with sunlight to produce…smog.  Few park visitors are reported being victims of “premature death” secondary to breathing polluted air.

One final reason not to expect the EPA’s claims of ozone reduction and resultant saving of premature deaths of asthma victims to materialize is that the root cause of asthma is not completely known.  It may be hereditary, and it may be secondary to environmental factors, or some combination thereof.  A variety of factors can trigger an asthma attack in a susceptible individual.  It maybe exercise, cold air, or indoor antigens.  The Wall Street Journal October 1, 2015 article “Asthma Linked to Missing Bacteria” reported an association with the type of intestinal bacterial flora.  A puzzling observation is that even as the EPA air quality standards have achieved a 63-percent reduction in major air pollutants between 1980 and 2014, asthma rates have continued to rise in the U.S.  Between 1980 and 2010, asthma incidence in the population is reported to have gone from 3.1 percent to 8.4 percent.

The EPA computers have spoken, and theoretical “premature deaths” will be averted.  In the real world, energy prices will likely increase and impact the least advantaged the hardest as they struggle to pay for the air-conditioning and heating by which modern technology protects us from the reality of nature’s health impacts.


Charles G. Battig, M.S., M.D., Piedmont Chapter president, VA-Scientists and Engineers for Energy and Environment (VA-SEEE).  His website is www.climateis.com.

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137 thoughts on “New Ozone Regulations Will Save Lots of Imaginary People

  1. I agree about the Asthma – as a long term Asthma sufferer, by far the worst trigger for my asthma is cold air. Escaping cold air is a big part of why I moved to the tropics. Making heating unaffordable will be a disaster for asthma sufferers, in my opinion as an asthma sufferer.

    • It’s a trigger for me as well. Wonder if the EPA ever stops to think about the people on our end of the spectrum while they’re trying to turn the planet into an ice cube.

      • Modern environmentalists consider any change caused by man to be pure evil and it must be eliminated.
        If that causes people to suffer, it doesn’t matter to them at all.
        Heck, many of them would kill off 90% of humanity if they had the power.

      • There have been numerous attempts in the UK to link asthma to “passive smoking” in spite of the fact that the increase in asthma over the last half-century or thereabouts almost exactly correlates with the decline in cigarette smoking and in air pollution on genera.
        It also correlates pretty well with the increase in obsessive hygiene and the “keep children away from anything dirty at all costs” philosophy.

      • Ow, that was painful. Five minutes of

        “Is anything you are doing having any impact?”

        “That is not a question I will answer”.

      • I thought the most interesting thing McCarthy said was at about the 1 minute mark, when she said, essentially, global warming policy was one aspect of a strategy to positon the US for global leadership.

        I wonder if this is the kinder, gentler way to world domination.

      • He has a great style of probing questioning. The scathing contempt for her answers was almost completely disguised by his calm demeanour. His questions were in simple plain English, in striking contrast to her jargon-riddled gobbledygook answers

    • Our middle son suffered childhood asthma. There were two times of the year when he suffered severe attacks, May and September. We watched four consecutive FA Cup Finals in Derby Children’s Hospital and he was admitted on 18th,18th,19th,18th September in the same years. I’ve no idea what the triggers were, possibly fungi spores in the Autumn but more than coincidental

      • oz
        Firstly +10 on the rugby.
        The better side [by a distance] won.
        Secondly, many thanks for a link that, just, missed taking out my computer with red wine. . . . .

        I know these EPAers are serious – like some diseases are serious – and perhaps there are certainly, tightly defined conditions where there is a problem with ‘the wrong sort of sunlight’ (Hey, channelling our own Notwork Rail [or Network Fail; I get confused] o this wrong sort business).

        But
        – goodness oh pilchards –
        doesn’t photosynthesis have something to do with sunlight.

        Auto – transfixed by the EPA’s unicorn hunt.

    • Actually Asthma is a modern Western disease caused by the low fat diet foisted on us by the Medical consensus in 1977. I joke not. Not that asthma hasn’t been around for ever, but it has got much worse in recent decades. I went on a low carbohydrate diet some time back, and in the past winter, I never had one cold air attack even though it was (for us locally) the coldest winter for 26 years, and I was out in the cold air more often. The previous year, I wore an expensive ski mask to warm the air, and even then was struggling.

      I first thought my improvement was due to removal of wheat, but I have since found that the improvement is due to the improved surfactant layer in the lungs which is largely saturated c-12 fats (phospholipids with 2 c12 fat units actually). So on a high saturated fat diet, your lung surface is better protected, and asthma is largely a non-problem. I hardly ever use my inhalers anymore.

      (OH, and lost 22kgs, and my acid reflux stopped as well – that is a carb problem, not fat as I used to be told!
      The Medical consensus is jsut as bad as the climate consensus, if not worse.

      • An interesting explanation for asthma increase.

        If you got those results, keep that diet.

        Personally I’ve noticed I gain weight with carbohydrates and fat equally easily, and the way to keep it under control I have to both think twice if I eat more and be sure I eat food that keeps hunger away. Warm meals, quark or cottage cheese, little fat, little sugar, little bread or potatoes.

    • It It worse than that.

      A model of emissions backed by some measurements is fed into a dispersion model. The dispersion model output is fed into an population exposure model. The exposure model result it fed into a disease causation model. The result of that is fed into a disease severity model. The severity model output is fed into a death model which spits out an anticipated body count.

      Carrying forward the error bars would show how ‘precise’ the forecast is. The set of models does not consider the global burden of disease meaning we have no idea if removing the ozone completely would affect the disease or death rate at all which is more properly reported as 0-2500, not 2500.

    • The above post is a cautionary tale for Warmists. Below is another cautionary tale. It involves saturated fats. As they say the ‘truth’ will out eventually.

      Annals of Internal Medicine – 18 March, 2014
      Dr. Rajiv Chowdhury et al
      Association of Dietary, Circulating, and Supplement Fatty Acids With Coronary Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
      Conclusion: Current evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats.

      Primary Funding Source: British Heart Foundation, Medical Research Council, Cambridge National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre, and Gates Cambridge.
      http://tinyurl.com/q3hqfvc

      Wall Street Journal – 2 May, 2014
      The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease
      Are butter, cheese and steak really bad for you? The dubious science behind the anti-fat crusade
      “Saturated fat does not cause heart disease”—or so concluded a big study published in March in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. How could this be? The very cornerstone of dietary advice for generations has been that the saturated fats in butter, cheese and red meat should be avoided because they clog our arteries……..

      Our distrust of saturated fat can be traced back to the 1950s, to a man named Ancel Benjamin Keys, a scientist at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Keys was formidably persuasive and, through sheer force of will, rose to the top of the nutrition world—even gracing the cover of Time magazine—for relentlessly championing the idea that saturated fats raise cholesterol and, as a result, cause heart attacks.

      This idea fell on receptive ears because, at the time, Americans faced a fast-growing epidemic. Heart disease, a rarity only three decades earlier, had quickly become the nation’s No. 1 killer. Even President Dwight D. Eisenhower suffered a heart attack in 1955. Researchers were desperate for answers……

      Critics have pointed out that Dr. Keys violated several basic scientific norms in his study…..
      http://tinyurl.com/m8sczes

    • “We have three degrees of un-reality : lies, damned lies and statistics”

      Add a fourth: climate “science”

    • Exactly.

      I remember a political argument breaking out in the family once when I was a kid. The right wing side of the family and the left wing side were talking all over top of one another when when of them shouted “do you have any idea what the death rate in this country is?”

      My dad, who until then had stayed out the fray, remarked quietly “same as every other country. One to a person”.

      You’d think they would use some actual metric like lifespan changes, but that would give them the problem of using a metric that could actually be measured.

      • Personally I like it more as 1death per person per 80 years than say 1 death per person per 50 years. It is jocular, yes, to deliberately misstate what death rate means. In this case the quiet remark may come from the mature realisation that death is inevident in any case.

    • Precisely! Now you know that fact, the claim that with only a LITTLE more research grant money, the Fountain of Youth can be at hand. Exactly how to feed a world full of people who cannot die is another research question and more GRANT money.

  2. The global warming boogie man wasn’t enough for them so they are inventing new ones to hang on to their power and justify their budget. The EPA is now officially out of control, they MUST BE reigned in and made to heel before they destroy us from the inside out. They will NEVER consign to the idea that their job is EVER done! Whatever benefit there was in reducing any pollutant in the past will be denounced by them as not good enough now as an excuse to keep reducing it to impossibly and thoroughly unnecessary trace amounts. If they could they will declare water to be a poison in order to claim the job of rationing it to us.

    It is the only way the bloated EPA can survive now that they find that most of their actual opportunities to do good things are BEHIND them.

    • WRT: “The EPA is now officially out of control, they MUST BE reigned in and made to heel before they destroy us from the inside…”

      Yes. The proof is that the EPA is, by law, forbidden from considering costs when they act, looking instead only at the latest “science”. This makes all assurances of cost-benefit analysis a near-certain lie.

      Mr. Obama told business leaders last month he would ensure the public-health benefits outweighed the cost.

      WSJ: http://www.wsj.com/articles/epa-to-set-stricter-air-pollution-standard-for-ozone-1443715727

      What business is allowed to undertake a project with no cost ceiling or penalties for overruns?

      • Bill – “EPA is, by law, forbidden from considering costs”

        No. They do have very lousy cost [to low] / benefit [to high], are often not pressed by liberal administration, but it is a legal requirement.

        In Mercury Case, Supreme Court Rules That the EPA Must Take Costs and Benefits Into Account

        The new rules were challenged by 23 states and a variety of electric power generation companies that argued that the regulations cost way more than the benefits they offered. Today, the Supreme Court in a 5-to-4 decision in Michigan v. Environmental Protection Agency determined that the EPA must take both costs and benefits into account when devising regulations. From the decision:

        The Agency may regulate power plants under this program only if it concludes that “regulation is appropriate and necessary” after studying hazards to public health posed by power-plant emissions. §7412(n)(1)(A). Here, EPA found power-plant regulation “appropriate” because the plants’ emissions pose risks to public health and the environment and because controls capable of reducing these emissions were available. It found regulation “necessary” because the imposition of other Clean Air Act requirements did not eliminate those risks. The Agency refused to consider cost when making its decision. It estimated, however, that the cost of its regulations to power plants would be $9.6 billion a year, but the quantifiable benefits from the resulting reduction in hazardous-air-pollutant emissions would be $4 to $6 million a year. …
        The costs to power plants were thus between 1,600 and 2,400 times as great as the quantifiable benefits from reduced emissions of hazardous air pollutants. …

        https://reason.com/blog/2015/06/29/in-mercury-case-supreme-court-rules-that

    • You have it there. The UN and Agenda 21 policies are united in their aim to destroy capitalism.

      Check out this Agenda 21 inspired exemplar found on my governments education web site.
      https://thedemiseofchristchurch.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/exemplar-3-2008-exam.pdf

      This is the “conservative” NZ government would you believe.
      https://thedemiseofchristchurch.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/www_mfe_govt_nz_laws_meas.pdf

      Cheers

      Roger

      http://www.thedemiseofchristchurch.com

    • Let us boost businesses extolling the health benefits of ozone!

      The Benefits of Ozone and Negative Ions
      Ozone is created by nature to clean our environment. In the upper atmosphere, ozone protects the earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation. In the lower atmosphere where we live, ozone is very effective in purifying and sanitizing the air we breathe while removing odors. In 2001, the FDA approved the use of ozone as an anti-microbial cleansing agent for food treatment, storage and processing.

      Ozone (O3) consists of three oxygen atoms. In nature it is created when ultraviolet (UV) …..

      ===============

      Benefits of Ozone Surprise Researchers, Consumers
      …..The more pollution, the more ozone.

      But demonizing ozone is like blaming the fireman for the fire. Without ozone, pollution would render cities uninhabitable.

      Nature creates tremendous amounts of ozone each day with the help of ultraviolet rays of the sun or electrical discharges of thunderstorms that neutralize many biological problems like bacteria, viruses, mold or chemical out-gassing, and to some extent, man-made pollution. Take a walk after a thunderstorm and notice the clean smell in the air—that’s ozone at work. …..

      The fact that ozone is a powerful air disinfectant is undisputed. Twin City Testing Labs in Minnesota demonstrated a steady decline in live strains of infectious micro-organisms in four hours with as little as .05 ppm of ozone. These germs incubating in dirty air ducts could be projected to be completely eliminated in 24 hours from the lab’s data. It has been argued that the same disinfecting action takes place in the human sinus cavities where invading microbes first take hold. …..

      As far back as 1989, the Environmental Protection Agency told Congress in hearings that indoor pollution is one of the nation’s most important environmental health problems. They found that most homes have airborne concentrations of hazardous and toxic chemicals two to five times higher than outdoors. In a five-year study, many homes even had pollution levels 70 times higher inside than outside! Today’s building methods and codes and the demand for energy conservation have created super-insulated airtight indoor spaces. Lower heating and cooling costs result, but natural air cleaning agents like ozone stay outside while pollution is trapped inside……
      http://www.understandingozone.com/article_benefitsofozone.asp

      • Back in the days when heat was much more affordable houses were aired every morning to clean the air even in winter.

      • Thanks Jimbo. Having hosted various sensitive aquatic species for years in 24/7/356 ozone-sanitized closed aquatic systems for years, 70 ppb limit sounds like April fools’.

    • Mark and 2
      Spot on – from my vantage point in the UK.
      Our DECC [as was; moving deck chairs is a favoured political (and other) game; practical pilchard peter can probably pronounce on their present name] is not as bad, but obviously sought to prevent viewing of TV – by blacking out our cities.
      All in the name of the Great God CO2 – gorblimey, guaranteed and gorgeous!

      Auto, apologising about autonomous alliteration and all!

    • C’mon Thomas! It is not Psychosomatic when you die from it. What is much more troubling, is the increase in cases. Why? However, there is a massive research effort into the immune system, which I think will ultimately help Asthma suffers, along with all sorts of illnesses.

      • nothing to do with immune system, mostly household dust, fungi, acarians, diesel particles etc.

        If it were down to immunity how come so many people develop it in their 20s and 30s together with symptom of allergy and hay fever?

      • If I remember rightly it was stupid kids at school playing at the chemistry lab, burning sulfur and producing clouds of chlorine gas that caused the nastiest asthma of all, but they sent by grandad with a gun into the trenches without a single health warning only 100 years ago….

        We have had volcanoes belching sulfur for all of human history, then steam engines throughout the Industrial revolution clouds with more S02, then the righteous government indignation takes over when nanny wants to molly coddle the whole world away from ozone,-

        Instead of the gigantic fallout generated by their own nuclear testing and even more radioisotopes spat out by coal fired power stations…never mind dropping agent orange and goodness knows what on the Asians and DU on the Iraqies and serbs.

        Next, they’ll be wanting to shield us from cosmic rays and force us to wear lead lined vests when flying at 30 000 feet for more than 30 mins.

        Odd sense of priorities they have in the USA.

    • I must disagree with the psychosomatic. Now, it can be ignored and powered through in many cases, which people used to do in the old days. People with severe asthma were just considered “sickly”, a term you often see in literature, but referenced less and less today.

      And Thomas, the “hygiene hypothesis” has a lot of support in the medical community, that the rise of allergy and asthma suffering is due in part due to undertaxed immune systems going haywire due to the lack of diseases to fight. It has some theoretical background and has the advantage of being one of the few things that actually correllates in the right direction

  3. In the United States if you are the victim of a whole litany of cancers it is assumed by far too many insurance companies and health professionals that it is the result of tobacco use. It’s a square peg that has been so firmly pounded into a round hole that that correlation will not be abandoned until a generation after the last tobacco smoker has passed away. That sort of prejudice exhibits itself in all these “air quality” studies

  4. Sad, really. These bureaucrats (every country has them to varying degrees) did all the really important stuff in the 1970s and 1908s and, as a result, the air and water in western industrial nations have not been this clean since pre-industrial revolution times. You would think that was enough, and they could get on with enforcing the rules they have now. BUT NO, that’s not enough, and they have to show how important they are by inventing new, more stringent rules to justify bigger budgets. Who could complain about a cleaner environment? Trouble is, it costs industry a lot to keep up with ever-stricter emissions, and the latest ones may not even be attainable at any cost.

    I know this isn’t an argument, but it shows how times have changed: ozone was deliberately added to ventilation air on the London Underground (I think it was on the deep “tube” lines only). I remember learning about it at school in the early 1960s. It was done to suppress airborne bacterial infections, as well as to keep the air smelling fresh. It worked, the air never seemed stale, even hundreds of feet underground. And you could smell the ozone.

    To justify extremely low limits in the absence of hard evidence evidence, they will probably use the (discredited) assumption that the death rate varies in a linear relationship with the concentration of the toxin under consideration, all the way from zero up to instantly lethal doses. So if 100,000 ppm O3 kills 100% of those exposed to it, so 1 ppm will kill 1 in 100,000. And so on.

    A factor that environmental activists really love is the ever-increasing sensitivity of instrumental analytical methods. Take lead for example, which I know about because the same labs that analyse rocks and soils for mineral exploration also analyse soil, water etc (at 5 times the price!!). In 1970, we could measure lead to about 20 ppm with an error of ±20 ppm. Now you can detect lead down to 1 part per billion Changing from ppm to ppb makes the numbers seem bigger too. And if they aren’t big enough, then you can always change the units again and quote concentrations in silly measures like “micrograms per 100 cubic metres” (which means nothing to anyone, but sounds technical).

    • Smart Rock:
      I agree strongly with everything you said in you post except one thing.

      “These bureaucrats (every country has them to varying degrees) did all the really important stuff in the 1970s and 1908s and, as a result, the air and water in western industrial nations have not been this clean since pre-industrial revolution times.”

      I do not think this is true. In a village, town or city in the pre-industrial age the air and water quality was much worse than today. When wood, dug or charcoal was used for cooking indoor or out it caused much more local air pollution. Most water sources were so bad most people drank a form of beer so they not get sick. Water born diseases were common as well as lung problems, mostly in women that did the cooking. This is still true in parts of the world with not access to cheap electricity. And this is the world some greens would like us to revert to. No thanks.

      The rest of you post I really enjoyed.

      • I remember one study (I wish I could find it again. If anyone knows where it is, please post) that did emissions modelling of early imperial Rome based on the number of cooking fires. It found that Augustus reigned over a city that violated every ozone and particulate limit in Europe or America.

    • Smart Rock:

      To justify extremely low limits in the absence of hard evidence evidence, they will probably use the (discredited) assumption that the death rate varies in a linear relationship with the concentration of the toxin under consideration, all the way from zero up to instantly lethal doses.

      Yes, the Linear No-Threshold theory remains in use at the EPA. LNT theory originated from studies of ionizing radiation. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2663584/

      Over time, it was adopted as a hypothesis in biological toxicity studies. Because scientific studies cannot detect any health effects from chemical exposures at extremely low doses (!!) the EPA extrapolates from high-dose studies. http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-05/documents/low-dose-284-291.pdf

      Although it has been debunked numerous times, and even denies basic biological repair functions, it remains the ultimate tool for environmental bureaucrats — not for increasing human health, but for expanding bureaucratic power. http://www3.epa.gov/ttnecas1/regdata/Benefits/thresholdstsd.pdf

      Linear No-Threshold theory is also the basis for homeopathic “medicine” which is finally being considered for more stringent FDA regulations. In fact, public comments on homeopathic product regulation are being accepted until 15 November by the FDA: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/NewsEvents/ucm430539.htm

      • Quote

        Although it has been debunked numerous times, and even denies basic biological repair functions, it remains the ultimate tool for environmental bureaucrats — not for increasing human health, but for expanding bureaucratic power. http://www3.epa.gov/ttnecas1/regdata/Benefits/thresholdstsd.pdf

        Unquote

        Clearly not debunked and ridiculed enough. Both this and “premature death” rubbish needs to be ended now. no messing about, no half measures, no polite requests. Ended, now.

      • The EPA should do a linear progressoin on the toxic effects of Selenium and Vitamin D toxicity. We can then benefit from removing those poisons from or diet..

      • The LNT theory was adopted because there is a known mechanism for harm at the lowest possible level of exposure, and there is no good data to deal with that settled fact. When a cell suffers a “hit” from an alpha, beta, gamma, or neutron, that “hit” can cause damage to the DNA of the cell. It can be an ionization event where a chemically reactive species is created, or it can directly transform an atom in the DNA structure from one element to another. These events cause changes to the DNA, and since we know that it is changes to DNA that cause cancer and birth defects, the assumption that a single hit could cause either a cancer or a birth defect is not unreasonable.

        Now, this “fact”, which is accepted by all health physicists (talk about “settled science”) does not include consideration of the fact that the human body suffers about 14000 “hits” per second, every day of our lives, from natural and man-made radiation sources. But only about 1/3 of us get cancer in our life times. So, there are other mechanisms in play here, where damaged DNA and damaged cells do not cause cancer. It is possible that the body has mechanisms to repair this damage, that the cells just die, or that the hit does not cause any significant change in the operation of the cell (a lot of the DNA in our cells is non-functioning).

        There is also some evidence that the creation of some damage teaches the body to deal with it, so a small amount can actually be considered helpful. BUt we really don’t understand the chemistry well enough to be able to quantify it, so to be careful, nuclear energy workers try to limit the radiation doses that they receive to “As Low as Reasonably Achievable (ALARA)” Note the “reasonably” term. Not zero,

        People who work with radiation every day respect it, but they are not afraid of it. It is a hazard of working in the field, just like workers in any field deal with hazards, including even office workers who have to deal with the hazards of falling objects, sharp items, commuting accidents, and other simple office-level hazards. The radiation doses that are allowed are intended to provide a roughly comparable level of risk as ordinary workers.

        I do agree with the comments that the “calculations” of lives saved are illusory. The same issue arises when the concept of “collective dose” is used to calculate the number of people who will be injured as a result of a nuclear accident, over millenia as radioactive material decays in the open environment. These calculations are really meaningless, because the number of injuries is too low to ever be detected, unless we could somehow develop a way to identifiy the source of DNA damage in a cancer cell. And given the large amount of natural radiation that the human body is subjected to, this is very unlikely to occur.

    • Those have nothing on dioxin tests, which according to agency requirements, test down past the part per quadrillion

  5. “The poster child for such smoggy air is Shanghai, China, where newspaper pictures depict a yellow haze obscuring the visibility of buildings. However, the average lifespan there is 82.5 years, bettering the reported lifespan in any major U.S. city.”

    The Chinese government is not exactly known for acknowledging problems in their country. For example, for years they underreported pollution levels, and then tried to force the US embassy to stop collecting and publishing data on pollution levels using rooftop monitors. But even China now acknowledges the impact of pollution on lifespan there: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/beijing-issues-smog-warning-as-scientists-say-pollution-cuts-life-expectancy-by-15-years-9065204.html

    • They are not acknowledging the impact of pollution. They are acknowledging the prediction. I lived in London in the ’50s, 60s when we had smog for days on end. At the end of each bout of fog they would issue estimated deaths. “estimated”. Everyone I know from that period has lived a full and healthy life.

      Now, that doesn’t mean I supposed the production of smog it just means that if you add together all of the estimated deaths from CO², O3, NOx, drought, flooding, climate change, global warming etc there will be no human race in 20 years and that is ridiculous

      • Stephen Richards October 5, 2015 at 1:23 am

        […] it just means that if you add together all of the estimated deaths from CO², O3, NOx, drought, flooding, climate change, global warming etc there will be no human race in 20 years and that is ridiculous

        Interesting point. We get hit almost daily with some proclamation that we can reduce premature deaths by doing such-and-such. And as pointed out by Charles Battig in the main article, it’s all guesstimation and perhaps not really measurable or even true at all.

        An interesting study would be one that takes all studies of this sort (ozone estimated prevented premature deaths) and sums up all the supposed deaths that are occurring from various levels of this, that, and the other. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit to find that the world population should have all died in 1904 or thereabouts.

        Oh… air quality increasing; asthma increasing. Anybody see a correlation there?

      • I also lived through the London smogs of the 50s & 60s and wonder if there are hospital records still left for that time. For I seem to remember that the increased death rate, mainly of the elderly and sick, was actualand not estimated. It could be that the smogs killed off all the vulnerable and those that were left went on to lead a full and healthy life.

      • “They are not acknowledging the impact of pollution. They are acknowledging the prediction.”

        No, that is incorrect. From the story: “In a recent study, Yuming Guo and his team of researchers cross-referenced pollutant levels for 8 urban districts in Beijing between 2004 and 2008 with deaths recorded in the same period.

        The results of their tests showed that pollution levels cut the life expectancy of its citizens by between 15.1 and 16.2 years.”

        How exactly is that a prediction?

      • Actually yes, the Chinese are using real data. Extreme pollution does have drastic health effects. The problem is that mild pollution does not, but the agencies are pretending that it does.

  6. My confidence in our government has grown immensely as a result of reading this but then I’m confident we are governed by morons.

  7. My asthma is triggered by pollens, dust, and some foods. I expect its different for others but in my particular case smokey air is not a trigger at all. Quite the opposite as I discovered after a bushfire. All the pollen burnt and my asthma (despite all the smoke and crud) was the best its ever been.

  8. We can only be a few years from the EPA announcing they have prevented death by any means.

    I look forward to the Papal view on this achievement.

  9. The law of diminishing returns seems to be an unknown concept at the EPA. They also seem to think any toxin follows the Linear Non Threshold model. I doubt that any do, toxicity is in the dose.

  10. If the pollution is so bad, why is life expectancy extending so dramatically? I have to say, it makes me laugh when experts lambast the quality of the air we breathe today. If they had been around in Birmingham UK in the 1950s and 60s, they would know what pollution is really like. You could smell it, hell you could taste it and, yes, it killed people. Visibility could be down to low single figures in metres and flares had to be lit along major routes to guide public transport. I recall having my passenger walking in front of the car holding a handkerchief as a guide for me.
    We all want a cleaner environment but not at the cost of bringing the economy to a juddering halt.

    • Yes,,I was at college in Salford (also known as Sulphered) in the mid 60s and driving back with someone on the passenger side running board ( a 1952 Ford Prefect) telling me where the kerb was. Great fun. But at least the clean Air act they brought in then actually worked and smogs became a thing of the past,

  11. According to Wikipedia, in economics: “… an externality is the cost or benefit that affects a party who did not choose to incur that cost or benefit …”.
    I don’t know about Shanghai but I’m fairly sure the good people who live in central California have chosen to live there despite the air quality (assuming it is less than ideal).
    I imagine the same would apply to anyone not in custody anywhere in the United States.

  12. Who was it who said, “Once you create a bureaucracy to get rid of a problem, it is then almost impossible to get rid of that bureaucracy”?

    The EPA originally did a good a good job in helping to improve American air quality, then once successful it became like all bureaucracies, concerned only with its own growth and control over the people it was supposed to serve.

    • Exactly right. The EPA has become the equivalent of a local police department whose budget is based on how many speeding tickets they write … and THEY get to set speed limits. It would be no surprise that, in no time at all, they will have us all driving 5 mph even on interstate highways

      • They already have in France.
        Speed = Crime.

        In their great wisdom, most roads leading in and out of towns have been reduced to a strictly policed 20mph, most national roads (with remarkably low traffic densities) have been forced down to a moronic 55mph, and non toll paying motorways to 70.

        Strangely in neighbouring Germany people can trot along at 150mph on traffic swamped autobahns, but nobody in Europe can see the slightest contradiction.

    • Reminds me of the old song I first heard performed by Burl Ives, which starts:

      “I know an old lady who swallowed a fly …”

      it doesn’t end well for her.

  13. A ‘premature death’ eliminates ALL health care costs over the remainder of an expected lifetime. One sure way to increase health care costs is to live longer. “Reduction of health care costs” is not a valid factor in considering regulation.

    • curiously theyre the same mobs that want humanity reduced anyway?
      sorta a bit whacko jacko in th thinkin dept there?

  14. Some years ago I read a study from Germany, that exhaust gases from cars would be the main reason for urban ozone problem.
    According to that study, Germany established a severer anti-pollution law. Soot filters had to be installed in cars to filter all that fine soot and to reduce ozone levels.
    What they didn’t take into account, fine soot is a main reagent for ozone decay, with the result that ozone concentrations are much higher in cities than before.
    Since then they tried to lower ozone with more and more silly restrictions in motor traffic, and ozone level rises….
    Great positive feedback, man made!

  15. Purely looking at the way this is written would imply nthat so far the 75ppb level has not yet been achieved. Therefore it would be pretty difficult to assess how much better life expectancy becomes at this level if it hasnt been reached.

    How typical of a government agency to change the parameters before the previous set have been achieved. Gravy train reinforcement perhaps?

  16. thomas
    October 5, 2015 at 1:58 am
    nothing to do with immune system, mostly household dust, fungi, acarians, diesel particles etc.
    If it were down to immunity how come so many people develop it in their 20s and 30s together with symptom of allergy and hay fever?

    You should publish your evidence Thoamas. There are lots of underfunded researchers who would love to know where your conclusions come from.

    PS I have Asthma but I do not have hay fever and I live by the Western seaboard well away from airborne pollutants.

  17. I recently picked up just one cosmetic product used by by long-suffering partner.
    The cosmetic product was described on the front label as Rejuvenating Gel with Rose.
    Which sounds pretty harmless.
    On the back label, it turned out to contain a vast quantity of industrial effluent.
    Apparently, women buy tubs of this kind of stuff and rub it into their skin.
    We all breathe the volatile components of such products 24/7. Unless we have retired to a hut on a mountain.
    Plus, all the additives and aromatics in detergents used for cleaning.
    Plus, the constituents of so-called “air fresheners” which can now automatically squirt chemicals into the air on a timer or triggered by an infra-red detector.
    Then we have sealed up buildings with low air exchange rates and with re-circulation via air-conditioning.
    And we are all subjected to this barrage, even if we wished to have nothing to do with it all.
    For the purposes of illustration I have selected a random cleansing products range ingredients list from the web. Have a look at this list. IMO we’ve all gone completely nuts. Nothing in our evolution prepared us for this…
    http://www.murad.com/product-ingredient

    • And here is the wikipedia description of just one of those weird sounding ingredients:
      “Methylisothiazolinone, MIT, or MI, (sometimes erroneously called methylisothiazoline), is a powerful synthetic biocide and preservative within the group of isothiazolinones, which is used in numerous personal care products and a wide range of industrial applications.
      It is a cytotoxin that may affect different types of cells. Its use for a wide range of personal products for humans, such as cosmetics, lotions, moisturizers, sanitary wipes, shampoos, and sunscreens, more than doubled during the first decade of the twenty-first century and is proving to be a concern because of sensitization and allergic reactions as well as cell and nerve damage.
      Industrial manufacturing and distribution of the biocide has resulted in more severe health hazards to the humans involved in the handling of large concentrated quantities of the biocide.”
      That doesn’t sound like something that I would want to unnecessarily smear all over my face:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methylisothiazolinone

      • my favorite is the triclosan toothpaste n soap additive for the phobic re bugglies
        it was first regd as a pesticide.
        and people happily put it in their mouths for dermal absorption ++
        bicarb/vinegar/and Teatree oil clean just about everything
        soaps n shampoos can be made a damn sight safer than the crap sold now
        none of the 8k or so and growing chem get tested AS a group mix the few that are tested are tested as single product

        I have wrinkles:-) beats a toxic skin coating daily.
        if I really cared enough to bother, id use coconut oil.

  18. “Volkswagen’s pollution-control chicanery has not just been victimless tinkering, killing between five and 20 people in the United States annually in recent years, according to an Associated Press statistical and computer analysis.”

    • Good point, Ack. Let’s see those between 5 to 20 death certificates that state the official cause of death was pollution from a Volkswagen. Heck! I’ll settle for one. Just one!

      Where are the bodies?

    • I saw that article too. Someone should remind the AP that people who die inside computer simulations aren’t real people and they aren’t really dead.

  19. As Steve Milloy at Junkscience.com would say: Show us the bodies of those killed by Ozone. An epidemilogical Habeus Corpus.

  20. There is no doubt in my mind that as soon as the political and economic impact of these new regulations has been absorbed by the private sector that the EPA will find some other urgent air quality issue that must be addressed and will find untold millions of lives to save. This process of ever-expanding bureaucracy and ever-expanding regulation will only end when people find the will to curtail the agency. At some point the air and water will be as clean as is economically practical.

    But let nobody be fooled. What we see in the demands of environmentalists is now the expression of a earth-worship religious cult. In their appeals to Gaia, they are seeking something that government cannot really give them- salvation and transcendence of mortality. Let them do this with their own money, not mine.

  21. The EPA is doing an end-run around the constitution, and needs to be abolished. It is no longer about air quality. They have become a power-mad anti-business anti-fossil fuel, anti-democratic arm of Big Government, doing the bidding of Big Green.

  22. If ozone is so dangerous why do people who live near the coast have the same life expectancy as the rest of us? One more reason for Al Gore to have a beach-side property,

  23. Wheat causes asthma. I know several friends who have cured or really improved their asthma by not eating this poison grain.

    • That’s absurd on the face of it. It has been a significant part of man’s diet for thousands of years.

      • Milk has been consumed by adults for thousands of years, and yet lactose intolerance is still widespread globally among adults. So clearly thousands of years is not sufficient time to ensure complete evolutionary adaptation to foodstuffs.
        Especially if the long-term symptoms do not actually prevent individuals for living into fertility and breeding.
        If a disorder doesn’t actually kill people, then they can grow up and pass it on to their kids,
        That doesn’t mean that the disorder is so negligible that they wouldn’t necessarily be better off simply avoiding consuming the food that causes it.
        http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/news/070401_lactose

      • Please see my post Steve P
        October 5, 2015 at 12:40 pm

        I’m not necessarily signing on to the idea that wheat causes asthma, but there is evidence that the change from hunter-gatherer diet/lifestyle to agriculture based diet/lifestyle about 10-12,000 years ago has resulted in smaller stature, smaller brains, and health issues such as degenerative joint disease (DJD), and tooth decay.

    • Nothing today is the same, including us. People are always looking for a food to blame, which is one reason we have all these fad diets, including the latest ones, “gluten-free”, “non-GMO”, and “organic”.

    • You gonna phase out scotch whisky then?
      I never saw anyone keel over with asthma after a few drams…

    • no, the issue is: what did they eat instead of wheat? Saturated fats are needed to build up the protective lung surfactant. I have solved my Asthma (it is so much better) – off wheat and on FAT. I suspect that wheat isn’t the problem so much as the “high carb low fat diet” pushed for so long – see my earlier post above.

  24. Charles:
    Nice assessment of the trivial health effect of ozone and of the EPA’s unneeded and overbearing proposal.

    Bob Dillon, M.D.

  25. I use a program called PeerBlock to see who is trying to access my computer and every time I come to WUWT I get warning messages about NASA and NOAA and sometimes Dept. of Defense..Just thought I’d let you know !!! Not sure what it means ???

    • Marcus, just installed PeerBlock myself, NOAA and NASA both tried 3 times to access my computer after I came out of WUWT and went back after the installation. I am in Spain but have a UK IP address to watch UK TV and listen to UK radio. This is worrying, Big Brother and all that!

      • It is probably something related to NOAA/NASA and other government content we display on WUWT. It might be nothing more than those servers which host that content trying to give your browser a cookie.

        I’m not to worried about it at this point.

      • What is the target port because I would expect that what you have listed is your IP since it is DHCP assigned:
        Pinging dhcp-198-2-69-246.cable.user.start.ca [198.2.69.246] with 32 bytes of da
        ta:
        Request timed out.
        Request timed out.
        Request timed out.
        Request timed out.

        I would expect NOAA comps to be behind a NAT firewall IP.

      • andrewmharding “Allowed me to Ping their port, BUT 4 pings successful but they all took 0ms”

        Thus indicating that they even have veys to infect your ping app.

  26. Most of the visible portion of smog are sub-micron sulfuric acid aerosols, Ozone is not visible but reacts with SO2 and water vapor to form sulfuric acid which EPA does not measure. The original ozone standard was based on a LA study of nine asthmatics whose attacks occured the day after ozone peaked. I think the sub-micron sulfuric acid (which can reach the lungs) caused the attacks. Visibility might be a better proxie than ozone and may correlate better with asthma attacks. Lowering the ozone standard does not seem to be working.

  27. If ozone pollution affects human lungs, wouldn’t it also affect all mammals’ lungs?

    Then the EPA needs to explain to me why deer and raccoon populations are out of control in my neck of the woods and the black bear population is growing?

  28. When calculating pre-mature deaths, shouldn’t they be required to report exactly how “premature” those deaths are? Is it one day, or 10 years?

  29. It’s too bad they had to go and ban CFCs and non-prescription inhalants. The new, non-CFC inhalants are not only more expensive, but a prescription is required, and their effectiveness is considered to be lower. Just one more example of Big Government meddling, supposedly for the environment, but at the expense of people, and causing life-endangering situations.

  30. “New Ozone Regulations Will Save Lots of Imaginary People”

    My imaginary friend is expressing pleasure that the EPA is concerned for him even though he does not pay taxes, vote, or is a citizen.

    Oops, I just realized my imaginary friend is an Illegal Alien!

  31. Has there ever been a double blind study on a person who died to determine if it is pre-mature or not?

    • It’s helpful if you can get the same person to die multiple times, Tom. It really narrows the error bars on the results of the premature death studies.

      Lessee how that works…
      Note the age of death of a study subject.
      Revive the subject.

      Expose the subject to a low level of the pollutant of interest.
      Note the age of death of the study subject.
      Revive the subject.

      Expose the subject to a moderate level of the pollutant of interest.
      Note the age of death of the study subject.
      Revive the subject.

      Expose the subject to a high level of the pollutant of interest.
      Note the age of death of the study subject.
      Revive the subject, pay them $50 and thank them for their participation in the study.

      Time consuming, I know, but the robust results are worth the effort.

  32. to…
    DadofTriplets
    October 5, 2015 at 6:29 am

    What is the target port because I would expect that what you have listed is your IP since it is DHCP assigned:
    Pinging dhcp-198-2-69-246.cable.user.start.ca [198.2.69.246] with 32 bytes of data

    I would expect NOAA comps to be behind a NAT firewall IP.

    …… I was more interested in the example NOAA 140.90.213.166 ?????
    …….When it hits , it changes the end number and tries again 8 times ??
    …….Start.ca is my internet provider , so yes , the other number is my IP !!!
    …….I think Anthony’s response is probably correct, I just find it odd that it is only here !!!

  33. The bold step from 75 to 70 ppm ozone somehow reminds me of former Ukrainian pole vaulter Sergei Bubka. He set a new world record at every other appearance by besting the previous one by 1 cm, all the while staying well below his true limit. The EPA also seems to be giving itself a lot of scope for future adjustments – 65 ppm in 2025, 60 in 2035 … in this manner, they can keep busy for the next 150 years.

  34. “As a physician, I am intrigued, if not put off, by the EPA concept of “premature deaths.” How am I to know that that unfortunate patient, who has just died, died prematurely? If asked, he would undoubtedly claim that he had died before his time, no matter the actual cause. All deaths are “premature” when viewed subjectively. The answer lies within the all-knowing, EPA-sponsored computers, as in “health assessment methodology” that claim the ability to define who died before their time.”

    well Dr. Mengele you could do a controlled experiment. Or you just apply the best guesstimating approach you can in modelling.

    • I guess dragging Dr. Mengele into this earns you the Godwin award.

      Look at Crispin’s comment up-thread if you need help understanding exactly how much guesswork is involved here. Also note that a number of premature deaths per se is meaningless without also stating the amount of lifespan lost in each case.

  35. Having been to what is widely regarded as the dirtiest winter city on earth I can vouch for the similarity with London of the 40s and 50s.
    The handy thing about China, is they are so advanced you can always get a realtime read out, that way you can see which nasty is going for your throat.

    http://aqicn.org/city/haerbin/

    The joke is, most chinese wear medical face masks which we all know full well, don’t filter anything going in, but were designed to stop the medics coughing on patients in the op theatre.

    If it makes people feel better, then the placebo effect still works better than anything else known to man.

  36. The real solution to the problem with the EPA is that the EPA should be forced to submit any rule/regulation it intends to enforce to the Congress for a vote. Before the EPA can ever enforce a rule it must PASS house/senate approval. An executive agency should NEVER be allowed to write and enforce it’s own rules/laws period. Just imagine how life would be every police department in the US could write and enforce whatever laws it wanted with no oversight. With that in mind, ALL rules/regulations on the EPA books should be submitted one at a time to congress for a vote. All rules that do not pass immediately become null and void. Time for congress to take back its’ constitutionally given power.

  37. I’m not sure that the author’s implication regarding Shanghai having horrible air pollution and yet a high average life span is correct because Shanghai has developed very rapidly. That is, how many years have the people living into their eighties breathed horribly-polluted air? Since Shanghai developed so quickly, perhaps 30 years ago it had relative clean air. Likewise, at least as I understand it, many people in Shanghai moved there from rural areas where they had been breathing clean(er) air.

  38. As far as children’s asthma and second hand cigarette smoking:

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/129/4/735.short

    This review of 70+ papers suggests maternal prenatal and postnatal cigarette smoking demonstrates increase in childhood asthma.

    As far a fine particles <2.5 microns, diesel mechanics have a higher burden of respiratory disease irrespective of cigarette smoking.

    As far as ozone is concerned, in atmospheric chambers elite athletes were able to maximally exercise in ozone concentrations of 130 ppb.

    The current standard of 75 ppb has no data on childhood asthma.

  39. Charles Battig wrote:

    “The Wall Street Journal October 1, 2015 article “Asthma Linked to Missing Bacteria” reported an association with the type of intestinal bacterial flora.”

    indefatigablefrog
    October 5, 2015 at 11:14 am

    “Milk has been consumed by adults for thousands of years, and yet lactose intolerance is still widespread globally among adults. So clearly thousands of years is not sufficient time to ensure complete evolutionary adaptation to foodstuffs.”

    Bruce Cobb
    October 5, 2015 at 7:08 am
    “People are always looking for a food to blame”

    Yes Bruce, and also commonly looking for super foods containing this or that nutrient, oxidant, vitamin, enzyme, or probiotic. I think some of us make that effort because we recognize that our Western diet may be lacking in essential nutrients. Let me bring up a paragraph from the WSJ article cited by Dr. Battig:

    The researchers discovered that low levels of the bacteria in newborns put them at an increased risk of getting asthma later in life. Infants usually acquire bacteria naturally and are protected. But the increased prevalence of certain events—the use of antibiotics by pregnant women, delivery by caesarean section, urban living and formula feeding—may make it harder for newborns to acquire the needed bacteria, scientists say.

    There was a side discussion recently following a comment by Pamela G. about the hunter-gatherer diet, and cutting quickly to the chase, there is a theory among some anthropologists that the rise of agriculture caused H. sapiens to “domesticate itself,” if I understand adequately, which process witnessed the shrinkage of modern humans compared to their Cro Magnon forbears, a downsizing that is reflected in all domestic beasts when compared to their wild counterparts, including brain size. Cro Magnon are H. sapiens, but they were bigger and more heavily built than we are, and their brains were about 15% larger.

    Questions about the “Idiocracy” aside, and looking just at diet and health, it turns out that Cro Magnon didn’t have DJD (arthritis), nor did they have tooth decay. I read recently of studies on preserved victims of a Pompei eruption who were found to have perfect teeth, a result, it was claimed, of their Mediterranean diet, which had no sugar.

    The rise of agriculture and cities are hallmarks of the modern age, but changes in diet and lifestyle may have downsides such as osteoarthritis, bad teeth, asthma, and smaller brains to make it all work.

  40. Premature death is a very bad concept. Is it a lot of people who only loses a few days, or is it a single person losing 10 years? Now it is mixed with late deaths, so it is a hell of a mess with late dead people walking around all those early dead.

  41. If a claim of harm and purported evidence can’t prove or be admissible in a court of law that specific people have been harmed by specific means then it is bull.

  42. The real motivation has nothing to do with health. If you check the data, many major metro areas were on the verge of reaching the 75 ppb standard (not to mention the previous 85 ppb standard). When a metro area reaches attainment, the power that the EPA has over that area is severely diminished. And, of course, any diminution of EPA power is to be avoided at all costs.

  43. Mortality, in epidemiological studies, is the rate of deaths in a population. Deaths / ( time * population ) If you have actuarial tables, you can figure out when people are likely to die. This isn’t voodoo, it’s basic biostatistics.

    Smog is composed of more than ozone – hell, ozone itself is invisible. The haze over pine forests is based on organic vapors, but it is missing large amounts of nitrogen oxides, particularly nitrogen dioxide. NO2 is brown in color and highly irritating to the lungs. It’s one of the key elements to something being smog. Ozone and NOx react with the organic vapors, and that gives reactive irritating compounds.

    Asthma is still a complicated disease that remains poorly understood. I’ve heard all kinds of theories, including in the comments here. Given the effects of ozone on tissue, I wouldn’t be surprised if it played a role, but the EPA is going off half-cocked.

    The problem with Ozone is that the evidence for the current NAAQS standard is fairly weak compared to other chemicals such as carbon monoxide or even particulates. (I’ve personally had a problem with the PM standards since they don’t take into account the chemical makeup of the particles) Low level ozone exposure effects are still uncertain. (Ozone is very toxic as the concentration rises, but I’ll be damned if they pull another LNT hypothesis here)

  44. H.R. on October 5, 2015 at
    5:58 am

    If ozone pollution affects human lungs, wouldn’t it also affect all mammals’ lungs?

    Then the EPA needs to explain to me why deer and raccoon populations are out of control in my neck of the woods and the black bear population is growing?
    ____

    Hint:

    ‘Other Mammals’ don’t get hyperventilated by reading News Papers, watching BBC or reacting to EPA alarms.

    Sounds a bell; All Other Mammals don’t need EPA, saying ‘Live goes on without You’.

    Hans

  45. I posted on Science Magazine… http://news.sciencemag.org/environment/2015/10/new-u-s-ozone-standard-won-t-please-greens-or-industry?utm_campaign=email-news-weekly “A major argument for lowering the ozone bar is to reduce the risk of asthma especially in children. This has been the subject of many of the research studies EPA director Gina McCarthy references. Child asthma rates are up 131% since 1980; this is despite falling ozone levels across the country. The percentage of the U.S. population with asthma increased from 3.1 percent in 1980 to 8.4 percent in 2010 according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an enormous increase. Meanwhile, average ozone concentrations nationwide dropped by 33 percent from 1980 to 2014, with levels in every region dropping significantly. This raises questions that ratcheting down industrial and transportation sources of ozone may not be effective and we need to understand the causative linkages better. Since the pattern of changes in asthma incidence and ozone levels have moved counter to what one might expect, another question is how much of the increase in asthma in the population is attributable to ozone (or does the data say that reducing ozone will cause higher incidence of asthma). Facing these uncertainties, (the U.S.) should be focusing on addressing problems where the problems are worst, e.g., in California. And understanding the problem better.

    So childhood asthma is up 131% while national ozone levels are down by 33% since 1980, one might be tempted to conclude that each 1% decrease in average ozone levels will increase childhood asthma rates by around 4%, and the EPA’s 5 percent drop will increase childhood asthma rates by 20%. Of course this is not true. But correlations of asthma incidence with attribution errors that are conceptually similar to using highball climate sensitivities in climate models. Something is missing.

    In a PUBMED search on the keywords childhood AND asthma, hundreds of studies discuss lifestyle, diet and excessive use of antibiotics as being related to the rising incidence of childhood asthma. “A new paper issued last week in Science Translational Medicine (Thursday, Oct 1, 2015) , “Early infancy microbial and metabolic alterations affect risk of childhood asthma.” which already has been reviewed in various news media. The authors of the study found that loss of certain (good) gut microbes – especially early in life – has a demonstrated link to development of asthma in children …“good germs, the ones we get from mom, are just disappearing.” “Using DNA sequencing, four bacterial species were found (there could be more) whose low or undetectable levels predicted with “100-percent accuracy” whether the babies would suffer early signs of asthma, such as wheezing and skin allergies, by one year old. None of the infants with high levels of these bacteria in their stool at 3 months old developed such symptoms. The study emphasizes that in that first 100 days the structure of the gut microbiome seems to be very important in influencing the immune responses that protect us from asthma. This discovery is not just giving us a diagnostic tool but a lead into understanding the root causes of asthma in children.”

    So we need to focus on this root cause linked to changing lifestyle, diet and greater use of antibiotics affecting mothers and how these immunities are passed to their unborn children. Two causative pathways are involved in the increase in the incidence of asthma, the passage of mother’s immunities and ozone levels, and we simply don’t understand the extent of tangible improvement that will result from implementing the 5 ppb drop in ozone limits.

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