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Preterm Births Down After Coal Plant Shutdown

Reduction in Pollution to Thank

Tony Kan /Shutterstock.com

After a polluting coal-fired power plant in Pennsylvania was shut down in 2014 by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulatory action, the chances of women living 30 miles downwind having a preterm birth fell by about 28 percent, report Lehigh University researchers. While the plant was operating, women in affluent New Jersey communities downwind had a 17 percent greater risk of having babies of very low birth weights—less than 5.5 pounds—than did women in other similar affluent areas.


This article appears in the June 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

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