Joshua Frank writing for TruthOut:
So, you thought inhaling glue or driving without a seatbelt was bad for your health? Try living next to a coal-fired power plant.
That’s the diagnosis that Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) relayed to the public in a comprehensive medical study released on November 18, 2009, called “Coal’s Assault of Human Health.” In it, the organization, comprised of physicians and public health experts, claimed that coal pollutants damage every major organ in the human body and contribute to four of the top five leading causes of death in the United States.
“The findings of this report are clear: while the U.S. relies heavily on coal for its energy needs, the consequences of that reliance for our health are grave,” said Dr. Alan H. Lockwood, a principal author of the report and a professor of neurology at the University at Buffalo.
It is not simply about cleaning up the coal process; it is about halting its production altogether in order to immediately save lives – an estimated 24,000 every single year.
At every stage in its life cycle, coal can negatively impact human health, from mining operations, cleaning, transportation to burning and disposing of the combustion waste. PSR reported that many Americans are being affected daily by coal and the exposure is contributing to horrible health problems; heart attacks, lung cancer, strokes and asthma, among others…
[continues at TruthOut]