Toxic Coal Poisons America’s Children

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released an assessment of EPA’s strategy to protect the health of our children from environmental health risks.  The biggest health threat to children comes in the air we breathe:

In 2007, for example, 66 percent of children lived in counties where air exceeded one or more of the six principal pollutants. Two of them—ozone and particulate matter—are known to cause or aggravate respiratory diseases such as asthma. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), asthma is the third most common cause of hospitalizations for children, resulting in $3.2 billion for treatment and 14 million days of school lost annually.

Ozone and particulate matter are driven by burning toxic coal to generate electricity.  Maryland remains heavily dependent on toxic coal for its power.

Next time you hear an industry mouthpiece defending toxic coal by getting hysterical about the “economic trade-offs,” remember what the real trade-off is: children’s health for Wall Street profits.

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