Last week the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of upholding national limits on dangerous air pollutants emitted by coal-fired power plants. The Environmental Protection Agency Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) are part of the Clean Air Act amendments and were established to greatly reduce the amount of mercury, arsenic and other toxins released into the air we breathe every day.
Since they were first introduced in 2011 the limitations have been widely opposed by industry groups claiming the EPA is exaggerating the benefits. However, factories and power plants that burn coal remain the largest source of toxic air pollutants in our country and are to blame for roughly half of all mercury emissions in America. If all goes well, the limits will be fully enforced by 2015 or 2016, with significant long-term benefits for human health. An EPA Fact Sheet breaks it down by the numbers:
- The final rule establishes power plant emission standards for mercury, acid gases, and non-mercury metallic toxic pollutants that will: prevent 90 percent of the mercury in coal burned in power plants from being emitted to the air; reduce 88 percent of acid gas emissions from power plants; and cut 41 percent of sulfur dioxide emissions from power plants beyond the reductions expected from the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.
- Together, MATS and the Cross‐State Air Pollution Rule are estimated to provide annual benefits of $150‐$380 billion and prevent 18,000 – 46,000 premature deaths, 540,000 asthma attacks, 13,000 emergency room visits and 2 million missed work or school days each year.i
Health advocates and environmental organizations including the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) were among those who argued in defense of the health protections. EDF president Fred Krupp recognized the victory in a recent press release, saying, “Today, the court recognized that mercury and other dangerous air toxins from coal-fired power plants are a threat to public health, and that we should all be protected from them. Now we must complete the essential work to achieve these clean air protections for our children and for all Americans.”
To learn more about where toxins come from, their effects on your body, and how to take the first steps toward cleaner living in an increasingly toxic world, read Brenda Watson’s book The Detox Strategy, or visit www.DetoxStrategy.com.
Do you suffer from occasional constipation? What does it really mean to be constipated? And can occasional constipation impact your overall health? All of these are important questions to ask. Occasional constipation slows down food transit time and allows undigested food to remain in the colon longer. The putrefied material then releases harmful toxins, which can enter the bloodstream through the intestinal wall.
So Just what is Occasional Constipation?
Occasional constipation is often defined as having infrequent bowel movements with stools that are typically hard, dry and difficult to eliminate. You may even experience some cramping and bloating. While many factors can lead to the development of constipation, the following are some of the most common:
- Diet: Because a diet that consists of too many refined sugars, starches and processed foods can lead to constipation, eating plenty of fiber-rich, non-starchy foods that are low in sugar is an important part of maintaining healthy bowel movements.
- Lack of exercise: Exercise triggers the lymphatic flow that helps stimulate peristalsis (the natural muscle contractions that move food through the intestines and help ease elimination).
- Changes in routine: Changes in normal daily activity can often throw off your internal schedule, which can affect your bowel movements and lead to occasional constipation.
- Lack of time: Although taking the time to eliminate regularly is an important part of good bowel health, many people simply don’t do it. Try setting aside time in your day to go to the bathroom, even it means setting the alarm a bit earlier.
3 Simple Steps for Natural Relief
Follow this easy 3-step approach to achieve at least one healthy bowel movement every day.‡
- HYDRATE the Colon
Properly hydrating the colon will promote regular peristalsis. Drink plenty of water and use hydrating minerals such as magnesium hydroxide and gentle (laxative) herbs such as cape aloe and rhubarb to assist with natural bowel movements.‡
- ADD BULK with Fiber
A healthy colon requires bulk in order to eliminate regularly, and fiber can help provide that bulk.‡ Many people do not consume enough fiber through diet alone. A flax-based fiber supplement is ideal for promoting at least one healthy daily bowel movement because it provides a better balance of soluble and insoluble fiber.‡ Avoid fibers that could be binding, such as psyllium, as they can leave the colon dehydrated and in turn reduce peristalsis.
- LUBRICATE with Oils
To achieve bowel regularity and a healthy elimination schedule, it is critical to keep the colon lubricated. Beneficial oils such as Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats from fish oil, flax oil and borage oil help in providing the necessary lubrication for smooth and gentle bowel elimination.‡