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New EPA mercury emission reduction standard could save lives

The new update to the Clean Air Act by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce mercury and 70 other chemical emissions is estimated to prevent an estimated 11,000 premature deaths and 4,700 heart attacks.

Mercury exposure is extremely damaging to developing brains of fetuses and children. Typically, people become exposed to it by eating contaminated fish. However, the hazardous pollutants do negatively affect air quality. Assist in cutting down exposure by investing in air purifiers for the home.

The EPA estimates that for each dollar spent reducing mercury and other air pollutant emissions under the new rule, there is a projected savings of up to $9 in health benefits. These savings come from the prevention of various medical issues that arise due to exposure, such as heart attacks, premature death, asthma and bronchitis.

The new limits may prevent 130,000 cases of asthma and 6,300 cases of acute bronchitis each year, according to EPA projections. Asthma has become increasingly common in children, so to assist in preventing an attack, health professionals will sometimes recommend air purifiers to improve air quality.