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Study: Phildelphians Would Be Healthier If Air Was Cleaner

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - A new report ranks Philadelphia 25th of cities who have the most to gain from meeting air quality standards advocated by the American Thoracic Society and the American Lung Association.

The report from the Marron Institute of Urban Management at New York University finds that nationwide, reducing ozone and particle pollution to the levels recommended by the ATS and the Lung Association could save more than 9,000 lives every year.

Kevin Stewart with the American Lung Association of the Mid Atlantic says the fundamentals are quite clear:

"We're not meeting current air quality standards, those air quality standards themselves are inadequate to protect public health and we're leaving a lot of potential benefits on the table."

In terms, he says, of relatively smaller things:

"Such as days missed from school or time off from work, all the way up to very serious problems including hospitalizations, emergency room visits and even death."

The Marron Institute report suggests changes could save 126 lives a year in our area, and prevent nearly 300 health events such as heart attacks.

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