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The Toll of Coal: Health Impacts of Coal Export in the Northwest

November 20, 2012
Seatlle, Washington

Time: Noon-1:00 pm
Location: School of Public Health, University of Washington
Register here

Communities throughout the northwest are considering proposals to build coal export facilities in their towns. These facilities are part of a regional infrastructure to ship millions of tons of coal from Montana and Wyoming, through Idaho, and into ports in Oregon and Washington. If built, these projects will have major impacts on human health, state and local economies, environmental sustainability, and quality of life in the region.

In the November Hot Topics, Dr. Steven Gilbert, Director, Institute of Neurotoxicology & Neurological Disorders and Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington, will review coal’s life cycle and discuss how the mining, transportation, burning, and waste management of it adversely influences human and environmental health. Dr. Gilbert will also discuss the neighborhood impacts of coal trains including: train traffic and ship traffic, noise pollution, vehicle and pedestrian injuries, potential delays in emergency response, and how communities are organizing around these issues.

Learning Objectives

• Describe the various health consequences of coal
• List several of the contaminants of coal and the health consequences
• Describe the health effects of transporting coal in Washington State

Presenter Bio

Steven G. Gilbert, PhD, DABT, Director and Founder of the Institute of Neurotoxicology and Neurological Disorders (INND), has a Ph.D. in toxicology and is a Diplomat of the American Board of Toxicology. He is an Affiliate Professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington. Dr. Gilbert's research has focused on neurobehavioral effects of low-level exposure to lead and mercury on the developing nervous system. His book, A Small Dose of Toxicology: The Health Effects of Common Chemicals, was published in 2004 and the 2nd edition is available for free as an E-book ( by Healthy World Press.

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