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Coal Ash: Toxic – and Leaking

Coal ash – the waste material left after coal is burned – contains arsenic, mercury, lead, and over a dozen other heavy metals, many of them toxic.  And disposal of the growing mounds of coal ash is creating grave risks to human health.

Toxic constituents of coal ash are blowing, spilling and leaching (dissolving and percolating) from storage units into air, land and human drinking water, posing an acute risk of cancer and neurological effects as well as many other negative health impacts:  heart damage, lung disease, kidney disease, reproductive problems, gastrointestinal illness, birth defects, and impaired bone growth in children.

This ash, which is generated at coal-fired power plants across the country, is the second-largest industrial waste stream in the country.

Coal Ash Resources

PSR offers several valuable resources on coal ash and its damaging effects on health:

Action Alerts

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In the Spotlight

  • September 28, 2016
    Speaking Tour: Heat Advisory
    PSR's Dr. Alan Lockwood will visit 6 states this fall to highlight the health effects of climate change and speak about his new book, Heat Advisory.