Air Pollution

fired power plants supply 50 percent of the nation’s electricity but these
plants also produce air pollution. Coal plants emit about 87 percent of
nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution, 94 percent of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and 98
percent of mercury pollution. Compared with others pollutants coal plants are
the largest source of sulfur dioxide, mercury, air toxic emissions and second
largest source of nitrogen oxide pollution. These pollutants emitted from coal
plants are combined to form secondary pollutants such as ozone and particulate
matter that are dangerous to public health.

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)

          In US, coal plants are
the largest source of SO2 pollution, which is dangerous to public health. It
forms small acidic particulates by combining with air that is fatal to human
lungs and also absorbed by bloodstream. An uncontrolled coal plants emit 14,100
tons of SO2 per year and a controlled coal plants emit 3,300 tons of NOx per

Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)

          NOx pollution is the main cause of ozone
or smog, which causes eye, nose, throat and chronic respiratory diseases. An
uncontrolled coal plant emits 10,300 tons of NOx per year while a controlled
coal plant emits 3,300 tons of NOx per year.

Particulate Matter

          Particulate matter causes
eyes, lungs, and chronic respiratory diseases, premature death. An uncontrolled
coal plant emits 500 tons of small airborne particles each year. Baghouse can
capture 99 percent of the particulates. Coal plants are responsible for nearly
24,000 deaths each year.


          In US coal plants cause
more than half emission of mercury. It causes brain damage, heart problems, and
attention deficit disorders in childhood. An uncontrolled coal plant emits about
170 pounds of mercury each year. Activated carbon technology can minimize
mercury emission up to 90 percent when combined with baghouses. Just 1/70th of
mercury deposited on 25-acre area makes the fish unsuitable to eat. 

Radiation Exposure

          Coal may have low level
of uranium, thorium and other naturally occurring radioactive isotopes that can
leads to radioactive contamination of environment. These may cause human
diseases and can effect to plants and crops. Emitted radiation by coal-derived
fly ash delivers 100 times more to the environment than normal productive
nuclear plant. The 1000 Mega Watts coal fired power plant emits nuclear
radiation dose of 490 person-rem/years, compared to 136 person-rem/years for
other nuclear power plant including uranium mining, reactor operation and waste

River Water Pollution

          Coal power plant
produces ash containing calcium oxide. CaO dissolves in water forming slaked
lime and carried by acid rain to rivers. It removes temporary hardness of water
but maximizes sodium ions that convert the fertile land into alkaline soil.

Ozone Pollution

          Ozone pollution (may lead to smog) is
formed when NOx reacts with volatile organic compounds in the presence of
sunlight. In U.S. one third populations living in unhealthful ozone levels
areas. Smog may cause health problems like respiratory diseases, coughing, chest
pain and premature death.

Global Warming

          Coal-fired power plants are significant source
of CO2 emissions, producing approximately 40 percent of total US carbon dioxide
pollution. Carbon dioxide has no direct effect on human health but it can harm
global warming that can cause different diseases in human. World Health
Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately 150,000 deaths occurred due to
climate change


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