Toll from coal
Coal-fired power plants are the U.S.’s most significant industrial polluters. The air pollutants from power factories - carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, small particles, mercury, and other air toxins- harm public health, produce harmful ozone smog levels, and fine particulate pollution that damages lungs and shaves years off people’s lives.
Since the year 2000, the Clean Air Task Force has published studies based on work by Abt Associates, U.S. EPA’s health benefits consultant relying on peer-reviewed, posted methodology to quantify the deaths and other adverse health consequences attributable to the fine particle air pollution resulting from power plant emissions. Using the most recent emissions data (2019), Clean Air Task Force used the CO-Benefits Risk Assessment (COBRA) Health Impacts Screening and Mapping Tool developed by Abt Associates to estimate the death and illness due to coal plant fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in that year.
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