Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Premature Births Linked to Living Near Power Plants

Health + Wellness
Premature Births Linked to Living Near Power Plants
Solar, coal and natural gas are prominent at the Big Bend Power Station and Manatee Viewing Center parking lot in Apollo Beach, FL. Walter / CC BY 2.0

Closing coal- and oil-fired power plants may help decrease the incidence of premature births in surrounding areas, according to new research.


A study published Tuesday in the American Journal of Epidemiology surveyed preterm births in more than 57,000 mothers living near eight power plants in California retired between 2001 and 2011. Researchers found rates of preterm birth decreased after the power plants' closures, with women living within three miles of the power plants experiencing a two percent drop in premature birth rates after the plants' retirement.

As reported by InsideClimate News:

"In an accompanying commentary in the journal, Pauline Mendola, a senior investigator with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, wrote that the methods and creative design of the study add to its importance.

'The authors do an excellent job of testing alternative explanations for the observed associations and examining social factors that might increase vulnerability,' she wrote.

...

'We all breathe. Even small increases in mortality due to ambient air pollution have a large population health impact,' she wrote. 'Of course, we need electricity and there are costs and benefits to all energy decisions, but at some point we should recognize that our failure to lower air pollution results in the death and disability of American infants and children.'"

For a deeper dive:

New York Times, InsideClimate News, The Independent

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for daily Hot News.

With restaurants and supermarkets becoming less viable options during the pandemic, there has been a growth in demand and supply of local food. Baker County Tourism Travel Baker County / Flickr

By Robin Scher

Beyond the questions surrounding the availability, effectiveness and safety of a vaccine, the COVID-19 pandemic has led us to question where our food is coming from and whether we will have enough.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Tearing through the crowded streets of Philadelphia, an electric car and a gas-powered car sought to win a heated race. One that mimicked how cars are actually used. The cars had to stop at stoplights, wait for pedestrians to cross the street, and swerve in and out of the hundreds of horse-drawn buggies. That's right, horse-drawn buggies. Because this race took place in 1908. It wanted to settle once and for all which car was the superior urban vehicle. Although the gas-powered car was more powerful, the electric car was more versatile. As the cars passed over the finish line, the defeat was stunning. The 1908 Studebaker electric car won by 10 minutes. If in 1908, the electric car was clearly the better form of transportation, why don't we drive them now? Today, I'm going to answer that question by diving into the history of electric cars and what I discovered may surprise you.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A technician inspects a bitcoin mining operation at Bitfarms in Saint Hyacinthe, Quebec on March 19, 2018. LARS HAGBERG / AFP via Getty Images

As bitcoin's fortunes and prominence rise, so do concerns about its environmental impact.

Read More Show Less
OR-93 traveled hundreds of miles from Oregon to California. Austin Smith Jr. / Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs / California Department of Fish and Wildlife

An Oregon-born wolf named OR-93 has sparked conservation hopes with a historic journey into California.

Read More Show Less
A plume of exhaust extends from the Mitchell Power Station, a coal-fired power plant built along the Monongahela River, 20 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, on Sept. 24, 2013 in New Eagle, Pennsylvania. The plant, owned by FirstEnergy, was retired the following month. Jeff Swensen / Getty Images

By David Drake and Jeffrey York

The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.

The Big Idea

People often point to plunging natural gas prices as the reason U.S. coal-fired power plants have been shutting down at a faster pace in recent years. However, new research shows two other forces had a much larger effect: federal regulation and a well-funded activist campaign that launched in 2011 with the goal of ending coal power.

Read More Show Less