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Power plants pollute water from arsenic to zinc

Saturday - 1/18/2014, 12:00pm  ET

The Associated Press

More than 50 million pounds of toxic pollutants are being pumped each year into the nation's waterways from fossil fuel power plants, most of them coal, the Environmental Protection Agency says. They include:

-- Aluminum: 1.97 million pounds

-- Arsenic: 79,200 pounds

-- Lead: 64,000 pounds

-- Manganese: 14.5 million pounds

-- Mercury: 2,820 pounds

-- Nitrogen: 30 million pounds

-- Phosphorous: 682,000 pounds

-- Selenium: 225,000 pounds

-- Zinc: 4.99 million pounds

The chemicals are discharged at different levels, with various degrees of potential human and environmental harm dependent on dosages and dilution. The EPA said "discharges of these toxic pollutants are linked to cancer, neurological damage and ecological damage. Many of these toxic pollutants, once in the environment remain there for years."

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