Report puts Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois in top ten of most polluted states

Published: Jan. 13, 2016 at 3:30 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 23, 2016 at 3:30 AM CST
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TRI-STATE (WFIE) - A new report just released puts the three states in our Tri-State area on a top ten list of the most polluted states in the country.

Local environmentalists say it isn't a new problem.

The new information comes from HealthGrove, which is described as a "health news and information site."

Using data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention that was collected from 2003 to 2011, HealthGrove created a list of the top 25 states with the most polluted air. 

Illinois is ninth, while Kentucky comes in third. Indiana is number one. 

The counties listed as most polluted from each - Wabash County, Webster County and Posey County.

Longtime environmentalist and president of ValleyWatch John Blair says the common denominator is nearby coal-fired power plants. 

He calls the pollution an "assault on our health," adding it's something that's been an issue for years. 

Still, he says for some reason, people don't seem worried about it. 

"Kind of just a resignation that everybody by the time they're 65 is going to have a triple bypass or some form of cancer to deal with, and it's just, they're resigned to that, instead of saying 'hey, what's wrong here?' and trying to do something about it," Blair says. "Coal shouldn't be king. Coal is killing us instead."

Blair says he's hopeful for the future with some companies shutting down coal-fired plants and replacing them with natural gas. 

According to Blair, the fine particles can cause cancer, heart attacks, strokes, asthma and respiratory issues.

He suggests that if you want to help push for change, you should reach out to the polluters directly. 

To see HealthGrove's entire report, click here.

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