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The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America’s Dirtiest Energy Source

Among all industrial sources of air pollution, none poses greater risks to human health and the environment than coal-fired power plants.

Emissions from coalfired power plants contribute to global warming, ozone smog, acid rain, regional haze, and–perhaps most consequential of all from a public health standpoint – fine particle pollution. In 2000 and again in 2004, the Clean Air Task Force commissioned comprehensive studies of health impacts caused by fine particle air pollution from the nation’s roughly 500 coal-fired power plants. Each study incorporated the latest scientific findings concerning the link between air pollution and public health, as well as up-to-date emissions information.

This study provides a new update on the burden of death and disease from coal-based electricity production across the United States. Estimated impacts are based on projected power sector emissions in 2010. As in our 2000 and 2004 reports, Clean Air Task Force commissioned Abt Associates to conduct the analysis for this study.

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