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Preterm Births Down After Coal Plant Shutdown

Reduction in Pollution to Thank

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.

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