<font 18px/inherit;;inherit;;inherit>Coal burning is still responsible for one third of US carbon emissions—the main contributor to climate disruption—but it is also making us sick, leading to as many as 13,000 premature deaths every year and more than $100 billion in annual health costs.</font>
<font 18px/inherit;;inherit;;#FF8C00>Most Coal use in the United States is for the purpose of producing electric energy for use across the widespread electric grids across the country.</font> So, when you see “Coal Plant”, that's probably what it is talking about.
The Sierra Club Beyond Coal campaign's main objective is to replace dirty coal with clean energy by mobilizing grassroots activists in local communities to advocate for the retirement of old and outdated coal plants and to prevent new coal plants from being built.
What is also important about coal is that it all comes with the following chemicals as part of the coal.
Once coal has been brought out of the mine, it's chemicals are guaranteed to be part of the environment.
Mercury Coal-fired power plants are the largest source of mercury in the United States, accounting for about 41 percent (48 tons in 1999) of industrial releases (see Mercury and coal). This mercury sometimes gets vaporized and brought down in rain, or scattered across the ground, and extracted by rain. Algae takes the metal mercury and add methyl ions to it. That allows it to be absorbed into the food chain. Tuna and other fish absorb this mercury run-off. Large fish at the top of the food chain get the greatest amount. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eight percent of American women of childbearing age had unsafe levels of mercury in their blood, putting approximately 322,000 newborns at risk of <font inherit/inherit;;inherit;;#FFA500>neurological deficits.</font>Mercury exposure also can lead to increase cardiovascular risk in adults.
Many of the large fish in our large rivers in the United States have approximately the percentage of mercury in their meat to be considered borderline poisonous, and it is not recommended for eating more than one or two portions per month for adults, let alone infants.
In 2017 we have removed from daily use a little over half of the coal plants, and the hope is to finish the transition by the early 2020s.
Dealing with the climate-change consequences of coal is certainly extremely important. Dealing with ocean acidification is, too. But Coal comes with embedded toxic chemicals.