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Environmental Health Resources
Effects of Coal Combustion on Human Health and Energy

This page contains electronic materials published by various institutions, which can be used as teaching resources. Some of the resources are general and some others specific to subjects presented in each PULSE unit.

Coal Truck For Teachers & Students

Coal Combustion, Inc. wants you to learn about what coal is, its quality, how coal burns, and how it impacts our environment. They cover coal chemistry and physical properties, how different types of coal impact the operation of power plants, and how coal quality issues challenge both the buyer and seller of coal. They can improve your understanding of the economicand environmental impact that fuel types and qualities have on pollution, performance and cost. Call 1-866-355-COAL (2625) or email for more information. Address: 114 South Main Street Versailles, KY 40383

Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) has artciles on coal burning and combustion.
  • Association between Arsenic Exposure from a Coal-Burning Power Plant and Urinary Arsenic Concentrations in Prievidza District, Slovakia HTML | PDF
  • Association of Fine Particulate Matter from Different Sources with Daily Mortality in Six U.S. Cities HTML | PDF
  • Teplice Program--The Impact of Air Pollution on Human Health HTML
  • PAir Quality in Postunification Erfurt, East Germany: Associating Changes in Pollutant Concentrations with Changes in Emissions HTML | PDF
  • Image of EHP Journal Cover

    World Coal Institute Logo
    World Coal Institute is a non-profit, non-governmental organization of coal enterprises and associations - the only international body working on a worldwide basis on behalf of the coal industry. Their key objective is to provide a voice for coal PDF File on A Voice for Coal by the WCI in international energy and environment policy and research discussions. To that end, they undertake lobbying, publish material which will improve decision makers' understanding of coal and organise workshops.
    A man putting coal in the fire pit

  • Coal Image from 1000 Links on fossil fuels

    One Thousand Links <http://www.bydesign.com/fossilfuels/links/index.html> promotes learning how North America uses fossil fuels. This site is a good starting point for teachers and students who want to learn more about how North America uses its fossil fuel resources. Coal is our most abundant fossil fuel resource. Coal is a complex mixture of organic chemical substances containing carbon, hydrogen and oxygen in chemical combination, together with smaller amounts of nitrogen and sulfur.

    Coal Combustion: Nuclear Resoruce or Danger By Alex Gabbard This is a paper offering informative facts about coal combustion including charts, diagrams, and other basic prevalent knowledge on coal combustion and whether it is a nuclear resource or a danger. As the world's population increases, the demands for all resources, particularly fuel for electricity, is expected to increase. To meet the demand for electric power, the world population is expected to rely increasingly on combustion of fossil fuels, primarily coal. The world has about 1500 years of known coal resources at the current use rate. The graph below to the right shows the growth in U.S. and world coal combustion for the 50 years preceding 1988, along with projections beyond the year 2040. Using the concentration of uranium and thorium indicated above, the graph below to the left illustrates the historical release quantities of these elements and the releases that can be expected during the first half of the next century, given the predicted growth trends.
    United States and world  combustion of coal (in millions of metric tons) has increased steadily from 1937 to present.  It is expected to increase even more between now and beyond 2040.
     Chart showing  that the U.S. and world release of uranium and thorium (in metric tons) from coal combustion has risen steadily since 1937.

    Merucry Policy Project Logo
    The Mercury Policy Project (MPP) works to promote policies to eliminate mercury uses, reduce the export and trafficking of mercury, and significantly reduce mercury exposures at the local, national, and international levels. We strive to work harmoniously with other groups and individuals who have similar goals and interests. For more information about this project contact Michael Bender at 1-802-223-9000 or Jane Williams at (805) 256-0968 or Felice Stadler at (202) 797-6692.

    Portal 31 Kentucky's First Exhibtion Coal Mine Header with old Photographs

    In 1917 the U.S. Coal & Coke Company, a subsidiary of U.S. Steel, built the community of Lynch, Kentucky, then the world's largest coal camp. The coal camp was built on part of the 19,000 acres the company had purchased in the southeastern tip of Harlan County, near the Virginia border. The camp's population peaked at about 10,000 persons but the reported figures vary because of the transient nature of the miners and their families at that time. One thousand company owned structures provided housing for people of 38 nationalities, the most prominent of which were Italian, Spanish, Czech, Polish, English, Welsh, Irish and Scottish. By the 1940s this mining complex employed more than 4000 persons above and below ground.

    The EPA has information on the Coal Combustion Products Partnership. You can read about the benefits of using CCPs. Studies and research conducted or supported by EPA, Electric Power and Research Institute (EPRI), government agencies, and universities indicates that the beneficial uses of coal combustion products have not been shown to present significant risks to human health or the environment. The EPA also has information on the Coal Combustion Waste Fill Minefill Site Visits. From September 2001 to October 2002, EPA conducted visits to nine States to collect information regarding the regulation of coal combustion waste (CCW) minefill management practices within those States. The visits consisted of meetings with State regulators, and, in most cases, visits to sites where CCW has been or is currently being placed.
    Contents on this webpage were developed by Stephanie Nardei Outreach Information Specialist, Center of Toxicology, Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center, University of Arizona.

    PULSE is a project of the Community Outreach and Education Program of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center and is funded by:

    NIH/NCRR award #16260-01A1
    The Community Outreach and Education Program is part of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center: an NIEHS Award


    Supported by NIEHS grant # ES06694

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    Last update: March 7, 2007
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    Web Master: Travis Biazo