Toxic air pollution threatens our health

More than half of all Americans live in places with unsafe levels of air pollution, which causes heart attacks, asthma attacks, emergency room visits, hospital admissions and even deaths year.

Studies show that one in 10 women of childbearing age has enough mercury in her bloodstream to put her child at risk of health effects should she become pregnant. This means that more than 689,000 out of the 4.1 million babies born every year could be exposed to dangerous levels of mercury.

The consequences are serious: Children who are exposed to even low-dosage levels of mercury in the womb can have impaired brain functions, including verbal, attention, motor control, and language deficits, and lower IQs.  When these children are monitored at ages 7 and 14, these impairments still exist — suggesting that the damage caused by mercury may be irreversible.

3,781 bodies of water contaminated nationwide

Coal-fired power plants spew hundreds of thousands of pounds of toxic mercury into our air every year, which falls to earth in the form of rain and contaminates rivers, lakes and streams.

And it doesn’t take much mercury to have a big impact on our health.  Scientists found that a single gram of mercury can contaminate an entire 20-acre lake.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, mercury impairs 3,781 bodies of water across the country. More than 6 million acres of lakes, reservoirs, and ponds in the United States are contaminated by mercury pollution.

With your help, we can save 46,000 lives

Recently, the EPA moved ahead with efforts to significantly reduce mercury, soot and smog pollution, announcing historic new emissions standards that combined could save 46,000 lives a year. Unfortunately, polluters and their allies in Congress launched a coordinated attack to block these critical safeguards.

We’re working closely with our allies in the public health community, lobbying key senators, and rallying thousands of activists stand up for public health.

It won’t be easy, but if enough of us speak out, we can drown out the coal industry lobbyists and make sure that the EPA is allowed to do its job and protect public health.


Clean air updates

News Release | Environment Illinois

Illinois Groups Praise Speaker Madigan For Supporting Fracking Moratorium

One day after nearly a hundred concerned citizens converged on Springfield to call for a moratorium on fracking, House Speaker Mike Madigan today announced his support for legislation to stop the dirty drilling technique in Illinois.

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Headline

Union: Obama Vows Climate Change Action 'Before It's Too Late

WASHINGTON, DC, February 12, 2013 (ENS) – In a State of the Union Address focused on rebuilding the U.S. economy, President Barack Obama tonight pledged to fight climate change “while driving strong economic growth.

...The environmental community is pleased with the President’s position on climate change and clean energy.

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News Release | Environment Illinois

President Obama Outlines Plan to Tackle Global Warming

Tonight, President Obama delivered his State of the Union address. Bruce Ratain, State Policy Associate for Environment Illinois, responded with the following statement.

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News Release | Environment Illinois

President Recommits to Tackling Global Warming in Inaugural Address

"I am pleased that President Obama committed to do more to tackle global warming in his second term, building on the strong foundation his administration laid over the last four years."

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News Release | Environment Illinois

Carbondale Votes Unanimously to Support Statewide Fracking Moratorium

Carbondale, IL—In a unanimous decision, the Carbondale City Council passed a resolution calling on the Illinois General Assembly to “enact a moratorium on high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing until such time as the health and environmental concerns of the people of Illinois are addressed”. In this decision, Carbondale joins the Illinois towns of Carlyle, Anna and Alto Pass and Union and Jackson Counties in taking action supporting a moratorium, becoming the largest city yet to do so.

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