We just released our annual State of the Air: 2008 report (www.stateoftheair.org), and the findings are alarming: One in 10 of us live in areas with unhealthful levels of all three types of pollution. And, even worse, the Environmental Protection Agency is on the verge of weakening our clean air laws.
We need cleaner air. According to the American Lung Association State of the Air report 125 million Americans still live in communities with unhealthful levels of air pollution. Some of the biggest sources of pollution are the nation's old, dirty coal-fired power plants. I am concerned of the toll of death, disease and environmental destruction caused by coal-fired power plant pollution. The Clean Air Act must be strengthened to reduce air pollution from these power plants.
Air pollution from power plants causes serious health effects. Power plants are a major source of the emissions that form smog and soot. Smog and soot trigger asthma attacks, increase hospitalizations and are linked to tens of thousands of premature deaths. Children, the elderly, those who exercise outdoors and people with lung diseases such as asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis are at particular risk.
Air pollution must be reduced. Each community must be protected and every American deserves to breathe clean air. Please protect public health of all Americans and strengthen the Clean Air Act requirements for coal-fired power plants.
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