David Joles, Star Tribune
Letter of the Day (Feb. 19): Pollution
- February 18, 2012 - 4:43 PM
We've known for decades that mercury, a brain toxin spewed into our environment by coal-fired power plants, impacts our children's ability to see, hear, walk, talk and learn. But for years, polluters and their allies in Congress refused to cut mercury emissions from power plants -- the biggest source of mercury pollution in the United States. Now a first-of-its kind study has found that one in 10 babies along Minnesota's North Shore are born with unhealthy levels of mercury in their bodies ("High levels of mercury found in North Shore babies," Feb. 3). This is horrifying. Babies who have never lived outside their mothers' bodies shouldn't come out of the womb suffering from unhealthy levels of a brain toxin. Yet, considering the decades of warnings sounded by scientists and public health experts, these findings aren't surprising. Last December, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized the first-ever nationwide standard for mercury pollution from power plants. But polluters and their allies in Congress immediately threatened to strike down this new public health protection. For Minnesotans, the bottom line should be the health and safety of our families. That's why I urge Congress to do the right thing and allow the EPA to move forward with this updated standard on mercury emissions from power plants. Our future depends on it.
EMILY NICHOLS, MINNEAPOLIS
The writer is an Augsburg College student and an intern at Environment Minnesota.
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