Posted by: joseph024 | July 28, 2008

Power Plant Emissions

There is a growing concern about the health effects from power plant pollution and its impact on God’s creation, especially the children. Whether at school, home, or play, children are exposed to power plant emissions. Emissions from power plants and their byproducts form particulate matter, ozone smog and air toxics. These pollutants are associated with respiratory hospitalizations, lost school days due to asthma attacks, low birth weight, stunted lung growth, and infant death. Air pollution is a pervasive problem across America for urban, suburban, and rural communities. Tens of thousands of schools are located near outdated power plants. It is an inescapable fact that air pollution is everywhere, indoors and outdoors; and kids breathe and absorb more of it than adults do.

Of these hazardous pollutants, the pollutant of greatest concern is mercury. America’s coal-fired power plants spew approximately 48 tons of mercury each year, poisoning our water, our fish and our communities. Once emitted, mercury can be transported long distances in the atmosphere and eventually settles onto land where it can be washed into rivers and waterways, posing a serious health hazards. Human beings exposed to mercury face severe health risks including neurological and kidney damage, liver failure and fatal heart disease.

Power plants are the predominant source of sulfur dioxide, emitting approximately 68 percent of the emissions in the US. Sulfur dioxide is a dangerous gas that adversely affects human health throughout the U.S, and has been associated with health effects ranging from asthma attacks to premature death.

Another adverse effect of power plant pollution is the emission of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It is estimated that about 40% of the U.S. carbon dioxide pollution comes from power plants. This figure accounts for approximately 25% of the global warming pollution, making energy use the single largest source of greenhouse gases in the United States. Unfortunately, this problem continues to grow as more power plant pollutants are spewed into our atmosphere, increasing the risk of the spread of infectious diseases, and temperature-related stress on children.


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