Skip to content

More than 500 Nurses Nationwide Urge EPA to Protect Clean Car Standards

September 20th, 2018

Cara Cook, Climate Change Program Coordinator, ANHE


More than 500 Nurses Nationwide Urge EPA to Protect Clean Car Standards

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 20th, 2018) – More than 500 nurses across 50 states and D.C. signed on to a letter urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to not roll back clean car standards that protect the health of all Americans. Strong standards that regulate vehicle emissions from the transportation sector provide protections that help to clean up our air and reduce the effects of climate change.

“The response from nurses across the country in joining on to this letter highlights the importance of prioritizing health in the development of clean air and climate regulations,” said the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments’ Executive Director Katie Huffling. “As nurses, we care for those most affected from air pollution and climate-related events and see the impact inadequate environmental regulations have on human health.”

Emissions from motor vehicles contribute to dangerous air pollution, such as ozone and particle matter, that harms human health. Breathing in hazardous air pollutants, like those formed from tailpipe emissions, are linked to respiratory and cardiac harm, increasing utilization of health services and potentially leading to premature death.

In addition, the transportation sector is the largest source of carbon emissions that drive climate change. Climate change is contributing to warmer temperatures, more intense extreme weathers events, and impacts to food and water quality, all which have significant impacts on human health.

“As a nurse I see firsthand the impact of air pollution on human health – children suffering from asthma attacks and those with chronic diseases that are worsened by poor air quality,” said Peggy Berry, PhD, RN, a nurse specializing in occupational health. “The decision to weaken clean air protections will disproportionately burden children, seniors, and those already breathing unhealthy levels of hazardous air pollutants. Reversing the clean cars standards will only contribute to more air pollution leading to more illnesses, hospitalizations, lost work and school days, and premature deaths across the nation.”

Huffling added: “The EPA must prioritize its mission of protecting human health and the environment and withdraw this proposal that recklessly places the health and safety of our communities at risk.”

View the full the letter and list of signers below.


The Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments is the only national nursing organization focused solely on the intersection of health and the environment. The mission of the Alliance is to promote healthy people and healthy environments by educating and leading the nursing profession, advancing research, incorporating evidence-based practice, and influencing policy.


Cleaner Cars Letter to EPA