(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed new standards to reduce mercury and other harmful emissions at power plants across the nation.
The agency announced the proposed guidelines Wednesday in response to a looming court deadline.
Toxic air pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants have been shown to cause neurological damage, including a lower IQ, in children exposed in the womb and during early development.
Mercury, arsenic, chromium and nickel also damage the environment and pollute lakes, streams, and fish. The pollutants lead to premature death, heart disease and asthma.
Certain seafood can be high in mercury. In such levels, it can be toxic, particularly to pregnant women. Experts say it can damage an unborn baby or young child's central nervous system and has been linked to heart problems in adults.
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