Mercury pollution from power plants threatens our health. New proposed EPA standards can help.

Fossil fuel power plants belch mercury and other toxic air pollutants into our atmosphere — but now’s our chance to seriously cut back this deadly pollution.

Laura Otýpková via Pixabay | Public Domain

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Matt Casale

Former Director, Environment Campaigns, PIRG

We shouldn’t power our lives at the cost of poisoning our kids.

Power plants that burn fossil fuels like coal don’t just produce energy — they also emit mercury and other dangerous air pollution. These airborne toxics can do irreparable harm to growing brains and cause cognitive impairments in children.

The good news is that we have a chance to cut down the levels of these deadly pollutants right now. The Biden administration is proposing new limitations on mercury and other toxic air pollution emitted from fossil fuel-powered power plants.

Add your name to show your support of stronger toxic pollution standards for fossil fuel power plants.

Mercury pollution still threatens our health

The Mercury and Air Toxics Standards were first enacted in 2011, and they’ve already saved tens of thousands of lives. But mercury pollution is still poisoning our air today. Continuing to improve our air quality can mean the difference between being sick or being healthy — or between life and death.

The cocktail of toxic metals emitted from power plants have been linked to cancer, and can even cause fatal heart attacks. And mercury alone can cause damage to a laundry list of bodily systems: The brain, heart, kidneys, lungs, and immune system of people of any age are at risk.

The proposed rules will cut back on toxic emissions by about two-thirds — a lifesaving difference for communities in the shadow of fossil fuel plants.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is looking for public comments to help finalize its new rules — so we need to make sure our voices are louder than those of the fossil fuel industry.

A future without the threat of toxic mercury pollution is possible

The best way to cut this kind of toxic pollution out of our lives would be to stop relying on fossil fuels for power at all. We’re working hard to make a cleaner and healthier future possible.

But for right now, strengthening toxic pollution standards and reducing the amount of mercury in our air is the best way to protect our health, and the health of our children and grandchildren.

Take action to help protect our kids from toxic mercury pollution.


Matt Casale

Former Director, Environment Campaigns, PIRG

Danielle Melgar

Food & Agriculture, Advocate, PIRG

Danielle works to ensure our food system produces enough nutritious food to feed everyone, without threatening our health, the planet, or the ability of future generations to grow food. Danielle lives in Chicago, where she enjoys staying active in the outdoors, trying out new recipes, and writing short stories.

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