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Toxic Mercury Emissions from the Nation’s Power Plants Remain at Dangerously High Levels
Environmental Integrity Project, January 2011

Coal-fired power plants are the single largest source of mercury air pollution in the United States.2 For more than two decades, the electric power industry has delayed cleanup and dragged its feet in making the necessary technology upgrades to reduce emissions of this toxic pollutant, and regulatory inaction has allowed mercury pollution to continue largely unabated. However, by the end of 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will promulgate long overdue standards to cut power plant mercury and other toxic pollution.

Protecting American Health from Global Shipping Pollution
Environmental Defense Fund, 2009

The United States Government can chart a course to achieve healthier air for the millions of Americans impacted by the emissions from ocean-going ships by applying to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for an Emission Control Area (ECA)—an area where stricter pollution limits apply. Ocean-going ships, sometimes referred to as Category 3 ships, are the largest ships on the water and include container ships, tankers, cruise ships, and bulk carriers. These large vessels travel all over the world, making international shipping a significant factor in U.S. port traffic and emissions. In fact, 90% of ship calls on U.S. ports are made by foreign-flagged vessels. Ocean-going ships impact air quality in U.S. coastal cities and ports and even send pollution hundreds of miles inland.

Testing the Waters 2010
Natural Resource Defense Council, 2010

NRDC's annual survey of water quality and public notification at U.S. beaches finds that the number of beach closings and advisories in 2009 hit their sixth-highest level in the 20-year history of the report. The number of closing and advisory days at ocean, bay and Great Lakes beaches topped 18,000 for the fifth consecutive year, confirming that our nation's beaches continue to suffer from bacterial pollution that puts swimmers at risk.

Drilling Down
Natural Resource Defense Council, 2007

Oil and gas production releases pollution that can have serious impacts on people's health and the surrounding air, water, and land. Although these operations are frequently located near homes, schools, and other community resources, the oil and gas industry enjoys numerous exemptions from provisions of federal laws intended to protect human health and the environment. This October 2007 report provides a comprehensive assessment of these loopholes, which allow oil and gas companies to continue polluting despite the risks, and describes the available, often economical solutions for using technology to reduce environmental contamination. The report also includes personal stories from people living in communities affected by oil and gas drilling.

Toxic at any speed
Ecology Center of Michigan, January 2006

Drivers and passengers are exposed to dangerous amounts of PBDEs and phthalates in the air inside cars. Heating of cars in the sun speeds up the release and causes chemical changes that make PBDEs even more dangerous. Mercedes had the highest level of PBDEs, over 10,000x higher than Volvo.

A national assessment of tap water quality
Environmental Working Group, December 2005

Tap water in 42 states is contaminated with more than 140 unregulated chemicals that lack safety standards, according to the Environmental Working Group's (EWG's) two-and-a-half year investigation of water suppliers' tests of the treated tap water served to communities across the country. In an analysis of more than 22 million tap water quality tests, most of which were required under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, EWG found that water suppliers across the U.S. detected 260 contaminants in water served to the public.

Chemical Regulation: Options Exist to Improve EPA's Ability to Assess Health Risks and Manage Its Chemical Review Program
Accountability Integrity Reliability, July 2005

EPA's reviews of new chemicals provide limited assurance that health and environmental risks are identified before the chemicals enter commerce. Chemical companies are not required by TSCA, absent a test rule, to test new chemicals before they are submitted for EPA's review, and companies generally do not voluntarily perform such testing.

Body Burden — The Pollution in Newborns
Ecology Center of Michigan, November 2004

A benchmark investigation of industrial chemicals, pollutants and pesticides in umbilical cord blood. Chemical exposures in the womb or during infancy can be dramatically more harmful than exposures later in life. Substantial scientific evidence demonstrates that children face amplified risks from their body burden of pollution.

An Ounce of Prevention
Environmental Working Group, July 2005

Actions intended to regulate pollutants and toxics are usually taken only after definitive harm has been established. By then, it is often too late to prevent serious or irreversible damage to human health and the environment.

State of the evidence 2004: what is the connection between the environment and breast cancer?
Breast Cancer Fund, November 2004

Scientific evidence indicates that multiple and chronic exposures are contributing to the epidemic of breast cancer affecting US women today. Contaminants implicated include common chemicals often occurring in the household, as well as medical products, appliances, cars and rainware.

Skin Deep
Environmental Working Group, June 2004

Most consumers would be surprised to learn that the government does not require health studies or pre-market testing for cosmetics and other personal care products before they are sold. According to the government agency that regulates cosmetics, the FDA's Office of Cosmetics and Colors, "...a cosmetic manufacturer may use almost any raw material as a cosmetic ingredient and market the product without an approval from FDA" (FDA 1999).

Body Burden
EPA, February 2003

Scientists have been studying the effects if chemicals on the body and on the earth for some time. After conducting a study based upon pollution found in people, scientists discovered some very troubling results.

America’s Children and the Environment
Environmental Working Group, 2004

America’s Children and the Environment brings together, in one place, quantitative information from a variety of sources to show trends in levels of environmental contaminants in air, water, food, and soil; concentrations of contaminants measured in the bodies of mothers and children; and childhood diseases that may be influenced by environmental factors.

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