16 Jun 2005
Four leading medical, nursing and public health groups, representing more
than 300,000 public health professionals, today filed a challenge to the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) power plant mercury rule. The
plaintiffs include Physicians for Social Responsibility, the American Academy
of Pediatrics, the American Nurses Association and the American Public Health
Association, all based in Washington.
The medical and health groups are filing a motion for intervention into the
mercury litigation initiated by environmental organizations and 13 state
attorneys general. The groups are filing this historic new lawsuit in
response to the mercury rule's serious threat to public health. Physicians,
nurses, and public health professionals will ask the federal courts to
overturn the weak mercury rule to protect patient and community health and to
reduce the risk of toxic ‘hotspots'.
Many Americans are exposed to unsafe levels of mercury from environmental
sources, including power plant emissions, by eating contaminated fish. EPA
scientists have estimated that over 600,000 infants are born each year
overexposed to unhealthy mercury levels in utero. According to widely
accepted scientific research, mercury is a potent neurotoxin that can cause
developmental and learning disabilities, reduced IQ, impaired motor skills
and in adults, cardiovascular disease
Contact: Dianne Saenz, Kyle Kinner or Susan Marmagas
Physicians for Social Responsibility