Our children are at risk from power plant pollution: Over 25 million children in the U. S. live in counties
that violate national air quality standards for the common pollutants ozone, particulate matter and sulfur dioxide;
Cases of asthma have rapidly increased, more than doubling in the past two decades. Six percent of U.S. children have asthma;
Thirty-five million of our children live within 30 miles of a power plant — a distance within which local
communities may reasonably be affected by a power plant’s smoke plume; an estimated 2 million of these
children are asthmatic and are particularly susceptible to these pollutants; 72,000 of our schools are within 30 miles of a power plant; Average health risks to children due to exposure to power plant combustion wastes could be up to
10,000 times higher than EPA’s allowable risk levels for cancer and other illnesses. Power plants are a major source of the most common pollutants in the air that harm children. Power plants emit 67 percent of the sulfur dioxide (SO2), 23 percent of the nitrogen oxides (NOX), 33 percent of the mercury, and 38 percent of the carbon dioxide from energy related sources. In much of the U.S., especially in the East, Midwest and South, sulfates make up the bulk of so-called fine particulate matter. Power plants are responsible for about half of the fine particulate matter in
many parts of the U.S. Numerous epidemiological studies have suggested that sulfate particles are among those most strongly associated with health impacts and premature mortality in adults.