Coal Pollution

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Coal Burning Releases Huge Amounts of Air Pollution Coal is a cheap, plentiful and dirty source of fuel. The leading cause of global warming comes from burning coal. It is a sedimentary organic rock that contains over 40% carbon and is formed by ancient plants and animals. As plants die off, they pile up into peat, found it marshy damp regions, and used for fuel. Peat takes 4,000 to 100,000 years for 1 meter of peat to accumulate (Boucher). The older the coal gets, the harder and blacker it gets. Burning coal poses a serious threat to the environment and to our health, by producing smog, acid rain, toxic mercury and particulate matter. The ten worst cities in America for smog are in the Western states. Six of the cities are in California, two in Arizona and two in Colorado. However, most of the coal plants in America are in the Mid-West to Eastern states. The smog that the Western states are experiencing comes from pollution in Asia. Most cities are improving their ozone levels because it is dangerous to breathe in too much smog. Although smog is mostly in larger cities, it’s effects can be felt in surrounding areas. Those with asthma problems or other lung disease should be extremely careful on heavy smog days and stay away from high smog areas. In addition to producing carbon dioxide, coal plants also produce sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NO, NO2). When sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides mix with water, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and sunlight they
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