North Carolina ranks 11th nationwide in hazardous air pollutant emissions, according to a report released by the Environmental Integrity Project.
The report focuses on six toxic heavy metals—arsenic, chromium, lead, mercury, nickel and selenium—as well as hydrochloric acid gas. North Carolina ranked 11th in the nation for emissions of nickel, fifth for selenium and sixth for hydrochloric acid gas.
Long-term exposure to toxic chemicals can cause respiratory disorders, damage to the nervous and circulatory systems and a variety of cancers.
According to the report, emission levels of these pollutants by electric utilities have decreased nationwide since 2007, including in North Carolina, but electric utilities remain the leader in emitting airborne toxins. In 2010, they emitted almost 200 million pounds of hazardous air pollutants, almost twice as much as the next-worst industry.
Progress Energy's Sutton Plant at one time released over 300 pounds of mercury every year, has a mountain of coal ash blowing onto the playgrounds across our area. And now we want more of this as Progress Energy converts to natural gas because they have to meet EPA standards?
International Paper in Riegelwood, Columbus County, is the region’s other big mercury emitter. Perhaps bigger than Progress Energy.
Mercury is a toxic heavy metal that’s especially harmful to young children. Mercury released in the air is deposited in water where bacteria help transform it into methylmercury, an especially toxic form that builds up in fish tissue.
The dangers of mercury exposure are well known and documented. Numerous peer reviewed studies have concluded that mercury must be controlled. The National Academy of Sciences – the nation’s premiere science policy body – conducted an 18 month review of mercury science and found that mercury in the environment poses a significant hazard to public health. The Academy found that more than 60,000 newborn children are at risk of neurological development problems due to mercury overexposure in the womb. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one in twelve women have unacceptably high levels of mercury in their blood.
Hard to believe some of you are willing to sacrifice our children (and pay for their treatment one way or another) for chasing a few dollars that will more than likely be little more than a living wage. No thanks we will make our stand and just say NO!
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