from the inbox:
On Tuesday April 12th, Pennsylvania Legislators, their staff members, and concerned citizens will be invited to submit hair samples to test the levels of toxic mercury in their bodies. At least one in 12 and as many as one in six U.S. women of childbearing age has mercury levels in her blood high enough to put her baby at risk of birth defects, including neurological and developmental disorders, and learning disabilities.
Coal-fired power plants emit toxic mercury into our air where it rains down into our rivers and streams, then makes its way to our bodies via contaminated fish. Every stream, river, and lake in Pennsylvania is under a consumption advisory, with residents urged not to eat more than one meal a week of fish caught, due largely to mercury pollution. In December of 2009, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a decision in PPL Generation v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The state Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision in the case The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in favor of PPL Generation put an end to state efforts to regulate mercury from coal fired power plant Pennsylvania, Therefore it was left up to the USEPA to begin a process to enact new federal mercury regulations. That process is underway now.
At Tuesday’s event, legislators and staff members will gather in the East Rotunda of the Capitol to clip a small piece of hair and submit it to a University of Georgia laboratory to be tested for mercury exposure. The Sierra Club is sponsoring similar events in more than 20 cities across the nation. Citizens across the nation are urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to enact a strong safeguard for mercury and other air toxics that would clean up our air and keep Big Coal and other corporate polluters from making us sick.