Toxic air pollution threatens our health

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

More than 30 rivers, lakes, and streams in Missouri contaminated by toxic air pollution

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.

And more than 30 water bodies in Missouri — from the Current and Meramec Rivers to Lake Saint Louis — are impaired by mercury pollution in fish tissue.

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.

Join our campaign by thanking the EPA for protecting our health and environment from mercury pollution.

Clean Air Updates

News Release | Environment Missouri

Obama Administration Finalizes Historic Clean Car Standards

Today the Obama administration is finalizing new clean car standards that will double the fuel efficiency of today’s vehicles by 2025, drastically reducing emissions of carbon pollution and cutting oil use nationwide.  In Missouri, the standards alone will cut as much global warming pollution in 2030 as is emitted by 728,000 of today’s vehicles.

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The Science is Clear

In today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Environment Missouri's Ted Mathys applauds the decision by the federal appeals court to uphold EPA's authority to regulate global warming pollution.

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News Release | Environment Missouri

Senator McCaskill Helps Senate Reject Rollback of Mercury Standards

In a victory for Missourians’ health and environment, the U.S. Senate today rejected a bill which would have allowed power plants to continue spewing toxic mercury pollution into our air.  The bill, S.J. Res. 37 introduced by Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), would have put up to 11,000 American lives at risk every year. Senator McCaskill voted against this dangerous proposal.

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Mercury Pollution Threat

Environment Missouri's Melissa Saale makes the case in today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch for stopping Sen. James Inhofe's attack on our newly-won mercury pollution limits for power plants.

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News Release | Environment Misssouri

EPA Proposes Life-Saving Soot Pollution Standards

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed updated air quality standards for particulate matter or “soot” pollution.  Soot pollution is the deadliest of the common air pollutants, causing hundreds of premature deaths every year in Missouri through a variety of cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses.

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