PENSACOLA, Fla. — The American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN) today announced its support for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to regulate methane and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can contribute to worker wellbeing and health.
On May 12, 2016, the EPA announced the finalization of the New Source Methane Rules. These new rules are the first steps in regulating the exploration, production, and transportation of the oil and gas industry for new sources of methane. As a potent greenhouse gas, methane contributes to climate change. According to the EPA1, methane and other VOCs contribute to ground level ozone, which is a toxic air pollutant known as smog. Additionally, ozone is linked to a variety of serious public health effects, including reduced lung function, asthma attacks, asthma development, emergency room visits and hospital admissions, and early death from respiratory and cardiovascular causes. Air toxics are known or suspected to cause cancer and other serious health effects.
“AAOHN commends the EPA for these regulatory measures,” said AAOHN President Jeannie Tomlinson, MSN, RN, COHN-S, FAAOHN. “AAOHN members will continue to work collaboratively with employers, employees, public health, and regulatory agencies to advocate for sustainable processes to reduce both methane and VOC pollutants for the health of workers, the nation and the world.
“Climate change affects us all negatively,” added Tomlinson. “As occupational health nurses, we acknowledge the need for primary prevention to increase the health of our planet, society and our worker populations. This includes collaborating to ensure maintenance of clean air, water, and tillable soil for our future generations and worker populations.”
The American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, Inc. (AAOHN) is a 4,200 member professional association dedicated to advancing the health, safety, and productivity of domestic and global workforces by providing education, research, public policy, and practice resources for occupational and environmental health nurses throughout the United States and the world. These professionals are the largest group of health care providers serving the worksite. AAOHN is comprised of chapter organizations that are incorporated agencies under their state regulations. For more information, visit aaohn.org.