Map of All Mercury Emissions from U.S. Coal-fired Power Plants, November 2011. EPA / Environment America

By Sue Sturgis
2 November 2011

Rank of coal-fired power plants among America's biggest sources of air pollution: 1

Of the five leading causes of death in the United States, number to which coal plant pollution contributes: 4

Number of U.S. water bodies impaired by mercury, a particularly toxic component of coal plant pollution: 3,781

Of the 50 U.S. states, number that have fish consumption advisories due to unsafe mercury pollution levels: 50

Factor by which one study found mercury concentrations in fish have increased from the 1930s to today: 10

Portion of U.S. women of childbearing age who have enough mercury in their bloodstream to put their offspring at risk of health effects: 1 in 6

Percentage of U.S. women of childbearing age that had inorganic mercury in their blood in 1999: 2

That percentage in 2006: 30

Amount of mercury deposited in a mid-sized lake over the course of a year that was enough to account for all of the mercury subsequently found in the lake's fish: 1 gram, or 0.0022 pounds

Amount of mercury released by U.S. coal-fired power plants in 2009: 134,365 pounds […]

For every 1,000 pounds of mercury released to the environment, increase in the rate of special education services in Texas: 43 percent

In the rate of autism: 61 percent […]

(All of the figures in this index and the map above come from Dirty Energy's Assault on Our Health: Mercury, Environment America, January 2011.)

INSTITUTE INDEX: Coal power's mercury menace



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