Thursday, July 21, 2011

Do you live in one of the 'Toxic 20' states?

A study identified 20 states with the
worst air pollution levels.
Toxic air pollution was the subject of a recent study aiming to single out the 20 US states with the worst levels of air pollution.

The three "winners" were Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.

The study, entitled "Toxic Power: How Power Plants Contaminate Our Air and States" was jointly released by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR).

In a press release, the researchers listed the study’s key findings:

  • Nearly half of all the toxic air pollution reported from industrial sources in the United States comes from coal- and oil-fired power plants.
  • Power plants are the single largest industrial source of toxic air pollution in 28 states and the District of Columbia.

"Power plants are the biggest industrial toxic air polluters in our country, putting children and families at risk by dumping deadly and dangerous poisons into the air we breathe," said Dan Lashof, Climate Center Director at NRDC.

"Tougher standards are long overdue. Members of Congress who consider blocking toxic pollution safeguards should understand that this literally will cost American children and families their health and lives."

The states on the "Toxic 20'' list (from worst to best) are:
  1.  Ohio
  2.  Pennsylvania
  3.  Florida
  4.  Kentucky
  5.  Maryland
  6.  Indiana
  7.  Michigan
  8.  West Virginia
  9.  Georgia
  10.  North Carolina
  11.  South Carolina
  12.  Alabama
  13.  Texas
  14.  Virginia
  15.  Tennessee
  16.  Missouri
  17.  Illinois
  18.  Wisconsin
  19.  New Hampshire
  20.  Iowa
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the reductions of toxic pollution required by the pending "Mercury and Air Toxics" standard would save as many as 17,000 lives every year by 2015 and prevent up to 120,000 cases of childhood asthma symptoms.

The safeguards also would avoid more than 12,000 emergency room and hospital visits and prevent 850,000 lost work days every year. These standards are expected to be finalized in November and public comments are still welcomed. Read the full press release here.

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Related articles in the AllerAir library:
Check AllerAir's air quality library for more related posts by searching for articles in the category "Air Pollution."

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