Mercury is poison.
And yet, every year coal-fired power plants produce more than 386,000 tons of hazardous air pollutants, including mercury, arsenic, lead and acid gases, all of which contribute to a host of severe health problems from birth defects to premature death.
Mercury, a potent neurotoxin, is a particular threat to pregnant women and young children.
Coal-Burning Power Plants Biggest Human-Caused Source Of Mercury
When coal is burned, mercury is released into the environment. Coal-burning power plants are the largest human-caused source of mercury emissions to the air in the United States, accounting for over 40 percent of all domestic human-caused mercury emissions.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues regulations that require industry to reduce mercury releases to air and water and to properly treat and dispose of mercury wastes. The organization also works with industry to promote voluntary reductions in mercury use and releases, and with partners in state, local and tribal governments to improve their mercury reduction programs.
Strong Mercury Protections To Be Issued In December
Recognizing the danger posed by these toxic air pollutants, the EPA has announced that strong mercury protections — which would cut over 90% of this toxic pollutant from coal-fired power plants — will be issued in December 2011. These landmark protections will dramatically clean up our nation’s air and significantly reduce children’s exposure to life-threatening and cancerous heavy metals and air toxics, including mercury, arsenic, and chromium.
Big Coal And Big Oil Say “No”
Excellent news! But unfortunately, Big Coal and Big Oil are trying to block these life-saving efforts. That’s right: corporate polluters and industry lobbyists are working hard to prevent these regulations from becoming law.
We must not allow the lives of pregnant women and children to be endangered in this way.
Take Action Now!
Click here to tell President Obama to strongly support the EPA’s efforts to clean up mercury pollution and protect the health of mothers, children and families.
And thank you.
Photo Credit: ECohen
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