# Stroke

What's unfair to residents of coal-dependent states?

Politicians in both parties have complained that proposed federal climate change bills are “unfair” to Midwestern states, which rely largely on coal to generate electricity. Utility companies and corporate groups have tried to reinvent themselves as defenders of the public interest against those who would unjustly “punish” consumers living in coal-dependent states.

Physicians for Social Responsibility released a report this week on “Coal’s Assault on Human Health.” This report should be required reading for all members of Congress, especially Senator Tom Harkin and other Democrats who have demanded more subsidies for coal-burning utilities in the climate-change bill. From the executive summary (pdf file):

Coal pollutants affect all major body organ systems and contribute to four of the five leading causes of mortality in the U.S.: heart disease, cancer, stroke and chronic lower respiratory diseases. […] Each step of the coal lifecycle–mining, transportation, washing, combustion, and disposing of post-combustion wastes–impacts human health. Coal combustion in particular contributes to diseases affecting large portions of the U.S. population, including asthma, lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke, compounding the major public health challenges of our time. It interferes with lung development, increases the risk of heart attacks, and compromises intellectual capacity.

In yesterday’s Des Moines Register, Lee Rood highlighted some of the extra burdens Iowans bear because of coal-fired power plants. Follow me after the jump for more.

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Send healing thoughts to Ted Kennedy

Senator Ted Kennedy is in a Boston hospital after suffering a stroke in Hyannisport. UPDATE: News reports now say he had seizures, not a stroke.

He spent two hours in the Cape Cod hospital emergency room before being airlifted to Boston.

I hope he is receiving the care he needs for a full and speedy recovery.

May is National Stroke Awareness Month, and this information comes from the National Stroke Association’s website:

In 1989 National Stroke Association received the Presidential Proclamation recognizing May as National Stroke Awareness Month (view a copy of the proclamation). The goal of this annual campaign is to ensure that all Americans understand they can “Save a Life” by knowing about stroke risk factors, prevention, symptom recognition and Acting F.A.S.T. to treat stroke. In addition, this is a time for remembering those who have survived a stroke and to let them know that National Stroke Association supports them throughout their lifelong recovery journey.

This year National Stroke Association will focus its efforts on educating the public to recognize stroke symptoms, and to Act F.A.S.T.

F = FACE     Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

A = ARM     Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S = SPEECH     Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?

T = TIME     If you observe any of these signs, it’s time to call 9-1-1.

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