Health Impacts of Carbon Pollution Explained in New American Lung Association Educational Video | American Lung Association

Health Impacts of Carbon Pollution Explained in New American Lung Association Educational Video

New educational video underscores the need to reduce power plant carbon pollution

(February 3, 2015) - Washington, D.C.

Today, the American Lung Association released a new video to explain the health impacts of carbon pollution and other emissions from coal-fired power plants. The video illustrates how heat-trapping carbon pollution and warming temperatures worsen the risks from other dangerous, even deadly, pollutants in the air including soot and ozone smog.

"Reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants will improve health, save lives and protect our children," said Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO at the American Lung Association. "We hope this video helps inform decision makers and the public about the very serious health impacts of the pollutants that are spewing into the air we breathe. We need strong clean air protections at both state and federal levels to help combat the worst effects."

In June 2014, the Obama Administration proposed the Clean Power Plan, the first-ever carbon pollution limits for existing power plants. This plan, set to be made final this summer, will have significant health benefits for individuals, families and communities across the country once implemented. Specifically, meeting the targets set under the plan will prevent up to 4,000 premature deaths and 100,000 asthma attacks in the first year implemented (2020), and prevent up to 6,600 premature deaths and 150,000 asthma attacks in 2030 when fully implemented.

The new and engaging video connects the dots linking carbon pollution, climate change and human health, and further underscores the need to act to reduce the burden of asthma attacks, respiratory disease, and premature death.

The Lung Association is hosting the video on their website, and will share it as a resource with a number of audiences, including the health and medical community. The video can be found online at:

The text of the video reads as follows:

Power plants are the largest single source of carbon pollution in the United States. Reducing carbon pollution from power plants will save lives and improve health.

These culprits [shown on screen, above smokestacks: carbon dioxide, mercury, soot, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide] are all currently spewing into the air we breathe. Here's why it's so important to reduce power plant pollution.

Carbon pollution traps heat in our air, raising the earth's temperature. Warmer temperatures help create ozone smog, which can cause shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing, and can worsen asthma and other lung diseases. This can land people in the hospital and even result in premature death.

Rising temperatures from heat-trapping carbon pollution can also lead to droughts and increased risk of wildfires, threatening homes, food and water supplies.

And that's not all you get from power plants. There's also particle pollution, known as soot. This form of air pollution causes heart attacks and strokes and even increases the risk of early death.

Sadly, the list keeps going. Mercury can lead to developmental birth defects.

And nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide trigger asthma attacks and increase the risk of hospital and ER visits.

These pollutants already affect the lives of millions of Americans.

Reducing pollution from power plants will improve health and save lives. To learn more, visit the American Lung Association.

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