Coal Ash Exposure: Overview

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:36 by admin
Each year, 115 million tons of coal combustion products are produced in the United States, 90% of them by electric utilities. Coal combustion products are mainly ash, usually mixed with wastes from pollution control scrubbers, coal piles, and other sources. About 30% of coal combustion products are recycled (primarily into cement or wallboard products) or worked into farmland to improve the soil. The rest is placed in landfills or depleted strip mines. As of 1995, 57% of all coal combustion products landfills had liners to protect groundwater, and 75% of new units were lined. However, liners are present in only 26% of all surface impoundments and 60% of new units. While the nature and level of contamination depends on the coal's chemistry as well as burning and disposal practices, coal combustion products may contain small amounts of such toxic heavy metals as arsenic, cadmium, selenium, copper, and mercury. Some experts are concerned that coal ash could leak from landfills and other disposal areas and eventually contaminate drinking water sources. The chemicals found in coal ash can cause serious health problems, and in some instances of high exposure, death.

See your doctor if you suspect that your drinking water may be contaminated with chemicals from a nearby coal ash depository. In addition, it may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit.

See Also

  1. Toxic & Hazardous Substances
  2. Anemia
  3. Balance Problems: Overview
  4. Birth Defects
  5. Bronchitis: Overview
  6. Cancer
  7. Diarrhea: Overview
  8. Fatigue: Overview
  9. Kidney Failure
  10. Liver Problems
  11. Nausea: Overview
  12. Pulmonary Edema: Overview
  13. Seizures: Overview
  14. Skin Disorders: Overview
  15. Tremors: Overview
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