The American Nurses Association (ANA) sponsored a briefing for Congress December 6 along with nine other health care organizations to discuss the health impacts of air pollution caused by coal-fired power plants.
Ann Darwicki, RN, a member of the Delaware Nurses Association (DNA) who represented ANA at the briefing, told congressional staff members and Senate Environment and Public Works Committee staff about the health hazards of fine particulates created by power plant emissions. She discussed the health effects she has observed on infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), people with asthma, and a colleague’s child in a region with polluted air. Darwicki has worked with maternal and child populations for 20 years in pediatrics, postpartum care and the NICU, and serves on the Environmental Stewardship Committee at Christiana Health Care System.
ANA has spoken out previously on the need to reduce mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants, citing health effects on newborns who have elevated mercury levels and on patients with lung or cardiac disease. ANA supports replacing coal with safer, cleaner energy alternatives to decrease incidence of preventable illness.