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Environmental Impact Of Coal Processing Toxins On Health

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Morgan State University

Environmental impact of coal processing toxins on health

Rose Dangana
PUBH 506.186
Instructor: Dr. Sharon Barnett
April 29, 2015
Coal is an inflammable, loose organic rock, comprised of hydrogen, carbon and oxygen. It is formed when vegetation which has consolidated between rock layers transforms into coal seams after undergoing heat and pressure for millions of years. There is more supply of coal than oil or gas, a supply that could last the entire world for about 109 years into the future. Coal provides electricity as well as fuels the production of steel, cement and other industrial activities. Each year, over 6,185 million tons (Mt) of hard coal and 1,042 Mt of brown or lignite coal is produced worldwide. The top five coal producing countries are China, United States (US), Australia, India and South Africa. Eighty-five percent of the coal produced is used in the country of production and only fifteen percent is exported (World Coal Association, 2015).
Coal can be mined using two methods, the surface or ‘opencast’ mining and the underground or ‘deep’ mining. Underground mining is more common although the largest coal producing countries use the surfacing mining method. In US, surface mining account for sixty seven percent of coal production while in Australia, it accounts for eighty percent of its production. Surface mining is more economical if the coal is close to the surface (World Coal Association, 2015).
Coal is viewed as
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