Toxic chemicals threaten our health

More than half of all Americans live in places with unsafe levels of air pollution, which causes heart attacks, asthma attacks, emergency room visits, hospital admissions and even deaths each year.

Studies show that one in six women of childbearing age has enough mercury in her bloodstream to put her child at risk of health effects should she become pregnant. This means that more than 689,000 out of the 4.1 million babies born every year could be exposed to dangerous levels of mercury.

The consequences are serious: Children who are exposed to even low-dosage levels of mercury in the womb can have impaired brain functions, including verbal, attention, motor control and language deficits, and lower IQs. When these children are monitored at ages 7 and 14, these impairments still exist — suggesting that the damage caused by mercury may be irreversible.

Mercury contaminates the Great Lakes

Coal-fired power plants spew hundreds of thousands of pounds of toxic mercury into our air every year, which falls to earth in the form of rain and contaminates rivers, lakes and streams.

Wildlife that is exposed to mercury may develop more slowly, have reduced fertility, or even die, depending on the level of exposure. And it doesn’t take much: Scientists found that a gram of mercury — about a drop — deposited in a mid-sized lake in Wisconsin over the course of a year was enough to account for all of the mercury subsequently found in that lake’s fish population.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, mercury impairs 3,781 bodies of water across the country, and 6,363,707 acres of lakes, reservoirs, and ponds in the United States are contaminated by mercury pollution.

Here in Michigan, dangerous levels of mercury keep much of the Great Lakes region off-limits to fishing.

With your help, we can save 46,000 lives

Recently, the EPA moved ahead with efforts to significantly reduce mercury, soot and smog pollution, announcing historic new emissions standards that combined could save 46,000 lives a year. Unfortunately, polluters and their allies in Congress launched a coordinated attack to block these critical safeguards.

We’re working closely with our allies in the public health community, lobbying key senators, and rallying thousands of activists stand up for public health.

It won’t be easy, but if enough of us speak out, we can drown out the coal industry lobbyists and make sure that the EPA is allowed to do its job and protect public health.

Clean Air Updates


Environmental Group challenges and praises U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow

A state environmental group applauded and challenged U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow Thursday for her stance on federal air pollution laws.

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News Release | Environment Michigan

New Report: Detroit Named 23rd Smoggiest Large Metropolitan Area in the Country

U.S. Congressman Hansen Clarke joined Environment Michigan, the League of Women Voters of Michigan, and Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision to release a new report showing that the Detroit area ranks as the 23rd smoggiest large metropolitan area in the country.

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News Release | Environment Michigan

Michigan’s Air so is Polluted, It’s Scary

A ghastly concoction of mercury, smog, and other dangerous pollutants have made our air downright frightening to breathe, according to Environment Michigan’s The Ten Scariest Facts about Michigan’s Air. 

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News Release | Environment Michigan

Senators Stabenow and Levin Vote to Protect Public Health

To the disappointment of major polluters, today the U.S. Senate defeated Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s bid to allow more soot and smog-forming pollution from power plants (SJ Res 27). Sen. Paul’s legislation would have put 1,405 lives at risk every year in Michigan alone. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin stood up for public health and voted against this dangerous proposal.

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News Release | Environment Michigan

President Obama & EPA Protect Public Health, Announce Landmark Mercury Standard for Power Plants

President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the first-ever nationwide standard for mercury and air toxics pollution from power plants. A record 907,000 Americans submitted comments on the standard, which is expected to cut toxic mercury pollution from power plants by 90 percent.

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