Doctors, activists mark Clear Air Act's 40th anniversary

Medical doctors will join hands with environmental activists Tuesday to celebrate passage of the Clean Air Act 40 years ago.

President Nixon signed the Clean Air Act in 1970, and it's been given credit for preventing millions of cases of disease, ranging from asthma and heart disease to low IQ among children exposed to lead in the air.

Dr. Richard Bransford, a Minneapolis allergist, said limiting various forms of pollution, the Clean Air Act has saved not only lives, but money.

"The cost savings in hospitalizations, lost productivity from workers that either are sick themselves with heart or lung disease from pollution, or have to stay home with sick kids because their asthma kicks in on a bad air day, it's really a cost-effective piece of legislation," he said.

The Environmental Protection Agency says global warming presents risks to human health, and has begun applying the Clean Air Act to greenhouse gases.

Some lawmakers want to prevent such regulations, and a vote could come during the lame duck session.

Tuesday's event will be at the State Capitol at noon.

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