On the Radio: Iowa’s Coal problem


Graphic source: Physicians for Social Responsibility

Listen to this week’s audio segment on Iowa’s heavy reliance on coal power.

There are 72 coal-fired power units in Iowa, and they may be damaging our health.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

Ninety-two percent of Iowans live within 30 miles of a coal plant and a third of children attend schools nearby one.  And those plants rank among the oldest and most inefficient in the country, according to a new study released by the Iowa chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility.

That means they are worse for our health.

Innovation has improved coal-burning technology however, some plants in Iowa have been exempted from parts of the Clean Air Act and have not been updated to meet new standards.

The pollution from burning coal can lead to asthma and heart, lung and neurologic diseases.  Or they can worsen the conditions of people already diagnosed with those diseases, all of which are increasing in the U.S. according to the report.

Among those most vulnerable to the effects of burning coal are children, the elderly and people who work outdoors.

Saving energy would result in less toxic air pollution.

For more information about the new report, visit iowaenvironmentalfocus.org.

I’m Jerry Schnoor from the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research.

Thank you.

See more coverage of the PSR coal study:

And check out our previous coverage.

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