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Posts Tagged ‘coal-burning power plants’

Top 20 Energy Dinosaurs (by State)

Posted by feww on July 21, 2011

Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida Top the “Toxic 20” States: Report

Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida residents, and people in 17 other states, are most at risk in the United States from toxic emissions released by fossil-fuel power plants, according to a report published by two environmental groups.

The study based on publicly-available data provided by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), is titled “Toxic Power: How Power Plants Contaminate Our Air and States” and was conducted by NRDC and PSR.

Key findings include:

  • About 50 percent of all the toxic air pollution reported from industrial sources in the United States comes from fossil-fuel (coal- and oil-fired) power plants.
  • Fossil-fuel 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.”


Toxic Air Pollution. Image source: Portland State University. DWNLDD by FEWW. Click to enlarge.

The Top 20 Energy dinosaurs 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

(Source: NDRC/PSR)

“The 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,” the report said.

“Coal pollution is killing Americans,” said Lynn Ringenberg, MD, of Physicians for Social Responsibility. “It is America’s biggest source of toxic air pollution. Air toxics from coal-fired power plants cause cancer, birth defects, and respiratory illness. Just one of those air toxics, mercury, damages the developing brains of fetuses, infants, and small children.   It robs our children of healthy neurological development and native intelligence.

“Poisonous power threatens the health of our kids and families. As a pediatrician for over thirty years, I urge us absolutely to support the EPA’s efforts to reduce the health threat from coal.”

Power plants are the major source of toxic air pollution in the following 28 states (and DC) as reported to the TRI: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

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Birth defects in China could rise by 66 pct

Posted by feww on June 5, 2011

China’s pollution-related birth defects could reach 242 per 10,000 this year

The the number of birth defects in China is increasing at an alarming rate.

According to a report published in 2009:

  • The coal-mining Shanxi province had the largest number of birth defects.
  • A 2007 commission report covering the five-year period from 2001 to 2006 recorded a 40% rise in the rate of defects from about 105 per 10,000 births to 146.
  •  Defective births accounted for up to 6 percent of total every year,  China’s family planning agency said. About 30 percent of the victims die and 40 percent are disabled.
  • A child is born with physical defects every 30 seconds because of the environmental pollution.
  • “Birth defects are now the single biggest killer of infants on the mainland,” Professor Hu Yali of Nanjing University told the Nanjing Morning Post.
  • At least 1.2 million babies are born in China with “visible defects” each year.

Researchers said emissions from Shanxi’s massive coal and chemical industry, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulates, was responsible for the defects.

“The problem of birth defects is related to environmental pollution, especially in eight main coal zones,” said An Huanxiao, the director of Shanxi family planning office.

Ming Yuan 2/04  –  Ming Yuan is a boy who was born with hydrocephalus or more commonly, “water on the brain”.  This is a serious birth defect and can cause mental retardation if left unchecked.  Ming Yuan had received a shunt before we got him so the excess fluid is going into a body cavity, relieving pressure on his brain.  He is a fussy little guy who demands lots of attention from his caregivers as well as visitors.  I think he has become aware of the “squeaky wheel” syndrome and is becoming a master at it! Image and caption courtesy of China Dream Home

Meanwhile the energy demand in China has risen almost exponentially. The electricity demand is set to rise by about 40 gigawatts over the capacity this summer, officials said.

More than 70 percent of China’s electricity is generated in coal-burning plants, and the official announcement has prompted China’s Railway Ministry to deploy more trains to transport coal around the country.

Based on the available data on China’s ever increasing demand for electricity, and projection of previous national birth figures, FIRE-EARTH estimates that the number of birth defects over the 2006-2011 period could climb to 242 per 10,000 births, a 66 percent rise compared with the previous period.

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