For too long the coal industry has used our atmosphere like an open sewer for its airborne pollution.
These emissions fuel climate change, but they also pose a serious threat to our health and environment. These threats include smog, acid rain, toxic mercury, and fine particles that embed deep in our lungs.
Particle pollution hurts our lungs
Also called particulate matter, or PM, particle pollution is possibly the most harmful emission from coal power plants. These very small unburned pollution particles released directly from coal plant smokestacks cause an estimated 800,000 premature deaths each year.
When inhaled, particle pollution can have wide-ranging and harmful health effects, including asthma attacks, lung tissue damage, stroke, heart attack and premature death.
There is another, equally important argument for transitioning to clean fuels. Tens of thousands of Americans die every year from old-fashioned air pollution, generated by electric power plants that burn fossil fuels.