Coal and air pollution When coal burns,thechemical bonds holding its carbon atoms in place are broken,releasing energy. However,other chemical reactions also occur,many of which carry toxic airborne pollutants and heavy metals into the environment.
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What are the harmful effects of burning coal?
Coal impacts: air pollution When coal is burned it releases a number of airborne toxins and pollutants. They include mercury, lead, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulates, and various other heavy metals.
How does coal ash pollute the environment?
Pollution leaching from coal ash storage and landfills into groundwater and several large impoundments of coal ash that ruptured are environmental concerns. The Clean Air Act and The Clean Water Act require industries to reduce pollutants released into the air and water.
How much pollution do coal-fired power plants produce?
More than 400 coal-fired power plants located in 46 states across the country release in excess of 386,000 tons of hazardous air pollutants into the atmosphere each year; Particulate matter pollution from power plants is estimated to kill approximately 13,000 people a year. Most coal-fired plants are concentrated in the Midwest and Southeast.
How does coal combustion affect the respiratory system?
Pollutants produced by coal combustion act on the respiratory system to cause a variety of respiratory ailments. Air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and fine particulate matter (i.e. PM2.5) adversely affect lung development, reducing forced expiratory volume (FEV) among children.