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The Los Angeles Times reports today that the EPA is being sued by a host of health and environmental groups for missing a May deadline to rule on the health effects of ozone. According to the article, if the EPA classifies ozone as harmful, it could 'trigger tougher limits on pollution from cars, trucks, ships and refineries'. Also revealed by the Times are the following facts about LA and the air we breath:

  • According to the American Lung Assn., the L.A. region has the highest ozone level in the nation.
  • The EPA's "silence" on the L.A. region supports the idea the agency "knows we haven't met the standard and it is choosing to not make the determination," said Angela Johnson-Meszaros, an environmental attorney involved in the suit.
  • Scientific studies have found that ozone inflames the respiratory system, causing asthma attacks, hospitalizations and premature deaths.
  • In Los Angeles, an estimated 1 million adults and 300,000 children have asthma, outranking 23 other congested cities, according to the American Lung Assn.'s 2011 State of the Air report.

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