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What are some negative issues with regard to coal?

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Quick Answer

Negative issues surrounding coal include the pollution of the air, ground and water. Coal has a negative impact on the ecosystem and wildlife, and coal mining also contributes to acid rain.

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Full Answer

The extraction of coal resources causes pollutants to seep into local water resources. Accumulated arsenic and lead can also escape into bodies of water due to coal production. This has a negative effect on water areas used by humans and animals.

Coal extraction also produces harmful pollutants, such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury and sulfur dioxide. Coal can also produce flammable greenhouse gases, and it also emits methane, which is considered a more potent greenhouse gas that causes global warming.

The process of coal production causes further damage to the environment since workers have to remove trees and land. Burning coal also creates harmful byproducts in the form of metal oxides, uranium, thorium, alkali and other metals. Coal ash also accumulates in landfills and remains in abandoned mines.

Coal ash can come in different forms, such as bottom ash and fly ash. Those who work around coal can suffer from negative health effects, and coal shortens the lives of many people around the world each year. There are also various dangers to mining coal, including roofing collapses, explosions and poison by gas. Numerous workers have been killed from mining coal as well.

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