How does coal ash affect humans?
Coal ash is incredibly dangerous. Short-term exposure can bring irritation of the nose and throat, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and shortness of breath. Long-term exposure can lead to liver damage, kidney damage, cardiac arrhythmia, and a variety of cancers.
Is breathing ash harmful?
Ash inhaled deeply into lungs may cause asthma attacks and make it difficult to breathe. Ash is made up of larger and tiny particles (dust, dirt, and soot). Ash deposited on surfaces both indoors and outdoors can be inhaled if it becomes airborne when you clean up.
What happens if you inhale a lot of ash?
In some eruptions, ash particles can be so fine that they are breathed deep into the lungs. With high exposure, even healthy individuals will experience chest discomfort with increased coughing and irritation. Common short-term symptoms include: Nasal irritation and discharge (runny nose).
Why is coal ash hazardous?
Coal ash contains contaminants like mercury, cadmium and arsenic. Without proper management, these contaminants can pollute waterways, ground water, drinking water, and the air.
Can coal ash be used for anything?
Coal ash is commonly re-used in a number of ways. For example, it is used as structural fill or fill for abandoned mines; as a top layer on unpaved roads; as an ingredient in concrete, wallboard, and in school running tracks; as an agricultural soil additive; and as “cinders” to be spread on snowy roads.
How can coal ash pollution be prevented?
The best way to prevent toxic spills is to limit activities that create the potential for spills in the first place, for example by transitioning away from coal to an electricity system powered by clean, renew- able energy. Keep risky facilities away from water.
Can breathing in ash make you sick?
Breathing coal ash dust can trigger asthma attacks, lead to cancer and lung disease and other serious health problems according to a new report released today by Physicians for Social Responsibility and Earthjustice.
Is volcanic ash bad for lungs?
Volcanic ash can be especially harmful to children, older adults and people with lung disease such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
Why is Ash bad for the lungs?
Fly ash particles (a major component of coal ash) can become lodged in the deepest part of your lungs, where they trigger asthma, inflammation and immunological reactions. Studies link these particulates to the four leading causes of death in the U.S.: heart disease, cancer, respiratory diseases and stroke.
Is volcanic ash cancerous?
Exposure to crystal- line silica is well known in industry to cause silicosis, a fibrotic lung disease; it may also be a cause of lung cancer in some workers who have developed silicosis (Interna- tional Agency for Research on Cancer 1997). If present, it is the most potentially toxic mineral in volcanic ash.