Undermining Mercury Standards Exposes Communities, Kids, Wildlife to Increased Pollution

Washington, DC — The Trump Administration’s undermining of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule — a proven measure of prevention against pollution hazardous to the health of children, wildlife and communities alike — runs counter to centuries of scientific consensus on the health hazards of mercury.

“This begs the question: does the ‘P’ in ‘EPA’ still stand for ‘protection,’ or is it a pollution agency? It’s unconscionable and unjust to weaken protections against this proven neurotoxin by rolling back the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule,” said Mustafa Santiago Ali, vice president of environmental justice, climate, and community revitalization at the National Wildlife Federation. “The harmful effects of mercury on both people and wildlife are well documented. So it’s inconceivable why we would choose to throw away protections that save 11,000 lives a year, by the EPA’s own estimates. We also know that mercury weakens the immune system and causes chronic medical conditions, all of these make people especially vulnerable to COVID-19. The American people deserve so much better, for our health, wildlife and landscapes. Our hard-earned tax dollars shouldn’t be used by EPA to poison us and shorten our lives.”

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