EPA Mercury Limits, a Health Victory for Moms!

Yesterday, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced historic nationwide protections from mercury and other toxins from dirty power plants. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that poisons the air we breathe, the fish we eat and presents great risks to pregnant women and young children. The new standard will mark the first time that the federal government has mandated limits on mercury, acid gases, and other cancer-causing chemicals from coal-fired power plants.

Mary Brune, MOMS Project director for the Center for Environmental Health, issued the following statement in celebration of this rule:

“By passing this new rule on mercury emissions, the Obama Administration and the EPA gave mothers across the country a real gift this week. Every year, between 300,000 – 600,000 babies are born with unsafe levels of mercury in their bodies. Up to 70 percent of this mercury pollution comes from coal-fired power plants. As a potent neurotoxin, exposure to mercury can affect brain development and severely limit a child’s potential. This new standard will cut that pollution by more than 90 percent, and will also reduce toxic emissions of arsenic, dioxins, acid gases, and other dangerous chemicals. It’s like giving our children back their futures.

“MOMS thanks President Obama and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson for their leadership. We also note that this was a hard-earned victory. Earlier this year, MOMS members from across the country added their voices to the more than 800,000 Americans who supported this rule. We urge the EPA and Obama Administration to build on this historic achievement and enact comprehensive chemical policy reform so that all Americans can enjoy their right to a safe and clean environment. “