The United States of America is a huge country where the dream of living and raising your family in a safe and clean environment has always been accepted as a standard that could easily be met. Fresh air, safe play areas, clean drinking water are all just part of the privilege of living in America. Right? Well, maybe at one time it was. But Americans have become accustomed to their comfortable life styles without really giving much thought as to the price they were paying with their health when it came to the quality of the air they were breathing.

Electrical power has been around for a long time now to supply all the modern conveniences of daily living. Unfortunately so have the methods to produce it. Power plants in the U.S. are the largest source of industrial emissions of toxic air, accounting for almost 50 percent of all reported toxic pollution from industrial sources in 2009. Recently the Natural Resources Defense Council released a new study that lists the 20 most polluted states in the U.S. These are the worst offending states but the truth is that power plant polluters are all around the country.

Here is the “TOXIC 20″ List:

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 electric sector is the largest source of industrial emissions of toxic air pollution in the United States. Coal- and oil-fired power plants account for nearly 50 percent of all reported toxic pollution from industrial sources. Exposure to toxic pollution from power plants such as hydrochloric acid, mercury, and other toxic metals, is known to contribute to or worsen a wide variety of health conditions. Some of these health issues are asthma/ other respiratory ailments, developmental disorders, birth defects, premature mortality, neurological damage and cancer.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set new Mercury Standards in the effort to clean up coal-fired power plant pollution. These new standards, according to EPA estimates, should save up to as many as 17,000 lives every year by 2015, prevent many of the above listed illnesses and prevent work absenteeism by hundreds of thousands per year. Unfortunately, some members of Congress and some highly motivated corporate polluters and energy lobbyists are working overtime to delay and soften the rules before the standards are finalized in November 2011.

America's families as do families everywhere deserve to live in a country where they can breathe clean air. Please take a some time to contact your members of Congress and ask them to support these new EPA standards of their Toxics rule, also known as Power Plant MACT.

Link to contact Congress:

Contacting the Congress: A Citizen's Congressional Directory

Link for more talking points when contacting Congress:

FAir Toxics Safeguard: Reducing Hazardous Air Pollution from Power Plants

Responses to "The True Cost of Clean Air in the United States"

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