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AAP: Trump’s emission standards rollback leaves children vulnerable :

March 28, 2017

President Donald Trump’s reversal of limits on carbon emissions will harm children’s health, Academy leaders said Tuesday.

AAP President Fernando Stein, M.D., FAAP, issued a statement criticizing a new executive order scrapping Clean Power Plan standards for power plants, which generate one-third of U.S. greenhouse gas pollution.

“Without this rule in place, our children, who are uniquely vulnerable to changes in the environment, will disproportionately bear the burden of dirty air, increased incidence of vector-borne illnesses, increased natural disasters, heat-induced illness and death,” Dr. Stein said.

He cited World Health Organization statistics showing more than 80% of the health effects from climate change impact children under age 5 due in part to their developing lungs and the time they spend outdoors.

“As pediatricians, we know it is impossible to separate the status of our environment from its impact on our patients’ health,” Dr. Stein said. “The Clean Power Plan took significant steps forward for children by addressing the public health issue of climate change and by helping to improve air quality.”

The impact of climate change has been a key issue for the Academy. In 2015 it released both a policy and technical report from the Council on Environmental Health. Last year, it convened the first Children’s Health Symposium on Climate Change and addressed the topic in the AAP Blueprint for Children. Most recently, it joined the Medical Society Consortium on Climate & Health, which issued a report detailing the health effects of climate change and is advocating for renewable energy.

“Clean air should not be a luxury, and it should not be determined by ZIP code,” Dr. Stein said. “We urge President Trump and his administration to support policies that ensure a safe environment for children and families across the country, rather than those that undo the gains we’ve made.”

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