Each year, hundreds of thousands of people die from coal pollution. Millions more suffer from coal-related illnesses. Coal is responsible for over 400,000 premature deaths per year globally and many millions more serious and minor illnesses. In the U.S., coal kills around 13,000 people annually, with workers being at the highest risk of illness.
The burning of coal emits hazardous air pollutants that can spread for hundreds of miles. Exposure to these pollutants can damage people’s cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous systems, increasing the risk of lung cancer, stroke, heart disease, chronic respiratory diseases and lethal respiratory infections. Children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with already compromised health suffer most. In addition to pollution originating from power plants, the mining and transport of coal, as well as the disposal of coal ash waste, can have significant impacts on human health.
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