Transcript - What is Toxic/Environmental Law?
U.S. companies produce more than 25-billion pounds of hazardous waste every year and will dump over 10 million tons of toxic chemicals into the air, water and soil. This chemical exposure causes over 34,000 deaths each year. More than 50 million Americans live with unhealthy air. A 2004 study estimated that fine particle pollution released by United States power plants causes nearly 24,000 deaths, over 38,000 non-fatal heart attacks, and hundreds of thousands of asthma, cardiac, and respiratory problems each year.
Dirty water is the nation's biggest health risk. As many as 49 million Americans have water supplies that contain levels of arsenic, radioactive substances and coliform bacteria that violate the safe drinking water act. Pollution from factory farms, industrial plants, oil spills and activities like fracking can lead to contaminated drinking water.
Nearly half a billion pounds of dumped waste released each year are Persistent Bioaccumulative Toxic Chemicals or "PBT's". "PBTs" are toxins such as lead, mercury and dioxin that are not broken down in the environment for long periods of time and can accumulate in body tissue, exposing humans to dangerous levels of contamination. For decades, communities all over the United States have been stricken with alarmingly high cancer rates in areas surrounding big corporation dumping sites. The government refers to this phenomenon as "cancer clusters".
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