3) Heavy metals from coal retard mental development in children and increase sudden infant death syndrome .
"Coal combustion waste [CCW or fly ash]--composed of products of combustion and other solid waste--contains toxic chemicals and heavy metals; pollutants known to cause cancer, birth defects, reproductive disorders, neurological damage, learning disabilities, kidney disease, and diabetes. A vast majority of the over 1,300 CCW impoundment ponds in the United States are poorly constructed, increasing the risk that waste may leach into groundwater supplies or nearby bodies of water. Under the conditions present in fly ash ponds, contaminants, particularly arsenic, antimony, and selenium (all of which can have serious human health impacts), may readily leach or migrate into the water supplied for household and agricultural use.
"Over the life cycle of coal, chemicals are emitted directly and indirectly into water supplies from mining, processing, and power plant operations. Chemicals in the waste stream include ammonia, sulfur, sulfate, nitrates, nitric acid, tars, oils, fluorides, chlorides, and other acids and metals, including sodium, iron, cyanide, plus additional unlisted chemicals..
"Of the known chemicals used and generated in processing coal, 19 are known cancer-causing agents, 24 are linked to lung and heart damage, and several remain untested as to their health effects."
"On December 2, 2008 an 84-acre CCW containment area spilled when the dike ruptured at the Tennessee Valley Authority Kingston Fossil Plant CCW impoundment, following heavy rains. Over one billion gallons of fly ash slurry spilled across 300 acres."
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