Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Lower Ozone Emission Limits Proposed by EPA

New regulations to reduce emissions of the smog-causing pollutant ozone from power plants and factories are expected to be released Wednesday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Ozone has been linked to asthma, heart disease and premature death.

The new rules would lower the current limit for ozone pollution from 75 parts per billion to between 65 to 70 parts per billion, people familiar with the long-delayed proposal told The New York Times.

That's less of a reduction than the 60 parts per billion limit sought by environmental groups. However, the EPA proposal will also ask for public comment on a 60-parts-per-billion limit, which means the final regulation could be lower than what is being proposed.

Reductions in ozone emissions have been sought by public health groups for years.

"Ozone is the most pervasive and widespread pollutant in the country," Paul Billings, a senior vice president of the American Lung Association, told The Times.

"Ozone is not only killing people, but causing tens of millions of people to get sick every day," said William Becker, executive director of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies.

However, industry groups claim the new limits would harm the economy and provide little public health benefit.

"Air quality has improved dramatically over the past decades, and air quality will continue to improve under the existing standards," Howard Feldman, director of regulatory affairs for the American Petroleum Institute, which lobbies for the oil industry, told The Times.

"The current review of health studies has not identified compelling evidence for more stringent standards, and current standards are protective of public health," he said.

The new ozone standards are the latest in a series of EPA moves to reduce air pollution. Next year, the agency is expected to finalize two new rules meant to reduce climate change-causing greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants, The Times reported.


Double-Arm Transplant Patient Doing Well

An American man who received a double-arm transplant in October can already move his thumb and wrist, and is expected to continue to gain function and sensation in his new arms over the next several years.

At a press conference Tuesday, 40-year-old Will Lautzenheiser expressed his appreciation for the extraordinary gift, NBC News reported.

"I hope to be able to live up to the memory of this man and make this worthwhile," the stand-up comic and former film teacher said. "This person who is anonymous to me will always be as close to me as my own skin now, and it's really an incredible gift."

Lautzenheiser had both arms and legs amputated in 2011 after he developed an aggressive streptococcus A infection that led to sepsis. He was approved for the rare double-arm transplant earlier this year, NBC News reported.

The procedure at Brigham and Women's Hospital took nearly nine hours and involved a team of 35 clinicians, including 13 surgeons.

"You could not wish for a better patient," said Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, director of Plastic Surgery Transplantation, NBC News reported. "He's got the right attitude and he is incredibly diligent in everything he does."

The function of Lautzenheiser's limbs should continue to improve over the next several years as nerves regrow, and he will need to remain on immunosuppression drugs to prevent his body from rejecting his new arms, doctors said.

"There were so many things that I didn't even realize I missed doing and now the capacity for doing those things is within reach, literally within reach," Lautzenheiser told NBC News.

He was one of the first people to be put on a U.S. waiting list for arm transplants in July when changes in classification placed limbs and faces in the same category as organs such as lungs, hearts and kidneys.

"These sorts of transplants are becoming more common, although they are still relatively rare," said Dr. David Klassen, chief medical officer for the United Network for Organ Sharing told NBC News. "The whole community that is involved in this is sort of gradually expanding."

Lautzenheiser said he may consider leg transplants in the future, but is focused on his new arms for the moment.

"I think it will be at least a year or maybe two years before I start thinking about another major surgery that would require two years of rehab. I don't know how much of my 40s I want to spend doing rehab," he joked, NBC News reported.

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