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Coal Pollution Directly Related to Premature Death


Coal PlantStuttgart University was commissioned by Greenpeace to conduct a study to determine the impacts of Europe’s largest coal power plants. Stuttgart’s scientists were able to estimate the economic and health impact of the continent’s 300 largest coal plants.

The experts posited that the largest 300 coal plants cause approximately 22,300 premature deaths a year. Of the 50 projects still in the planning phase, were they to come to fruition, they would be responsible for an additional 2,700 premature deaths.

In addition to causing premature deaths, the economic impact of coal pollution is drastic. Billions of dollars and countless workdays are lost.

In addition to particulate matter being produced by the coal plants, a host of toxins are released into the air, including lead, arsenic, mercury, and cadmium.

The study did not take into account the cumulative, long-term impacts of coal plants releasing CO2 into the atmosphere.

The worst health impacts came from the following utility companies: PGE (Poland), RWE (Germany and UK), PPC (Greece), Vattenfall (Sweden), and ČEZ (Czech Republic).

In Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, and the Czech Republic, col plants are responsible for more deaths than traffic accidents.  In Germany and the UK, coal-fired power stations and traffic accidents are responsible for nearly the same number of deaths annually.

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  1. Actually it seemed the original post was deleted thus my post below. You are right about links to more information but lets face it the majority of people only read the headlines anymore. They get their news from sources that are not credible and they believe what ever suits their agenda. There is a science of manipulation that has been employed over the years to instill ideas and directions of thought into the general public. Trying to push the collective mind in one direction or another. Propaganda, hype, buzz etc, etc,. It’s all based upon the fact that if you tell something enough times people will start believing it as truth when there is only a shred of truth in it. I admit my post was an over reaching and it was to point out that the article was as well. That being said here is where I like to think I stand in the mix of things, I want solutions to problems not hype not drum beating to further a cause or redirect funding. If it’s broke lets fix it. As a person who has worked in the maintenance industry I do not want to keep patching something in order to justify my existence. I have better things to do, so lets move on. Logic, science, and facts do not seem to apply when what is being manipulated is belief. I have no doubt that coal pollution plays a contributing part in the death of some people, but in reality more people die from simpler things like unclean water or eating to much salt. So with that said it stands to reason that the people bashing the coal industry are not interested in saving lives but shows they have a different agenda. They speak in the context of saving lives by reducing pollution but that isn’t what they want at all. If the motivation was to save lives there are far more effective ways to so. So what is the real motivation?

    • @Joe Matthis i don’t think it’s bashing so much as raising awareness. first of all, nothing is perfect, but we can do better. yes, coal plants pollute, but they can be cleaned up or we can find alternatives. people are eating too much salt, so we can try to educate them.
      the question is: “what is easier, to implement a carbon capture device on a coal plant or convince people that they should reduce their salt intake?” i’d bet it’s cheaper and easier to fix the coal plant than get people to change their eating habits any day.

  2. Didn’t like my comment or opinion huh? So much for open debate or free expression. Gotta be much easier to live with yourself if no one ever challenges what you say. Above this box it says “What’s your opinion?” maybe it should read “Express your opinion if it agrees with the article above.”  otherwise don’t bother.

  3. …and marriage is the main cause of divorce. So life is the main cause of death… go figure. Making a general statement as to cause and effect without  facts is like saying global warming only happens during the day. So break it down and back it up. Coal fired plants could ultimately be the cause of a lot of stuff because you could include people working in the mines, and also transporting the coal, and lets not forget all the people who work with electricity and get killed, the power plant made the power, oh we can include any house fires that started because of something electrical. That dam coal fired plant! Give me a break you can manipulate the figures to say what ever you want. One could just as easy say how many people were saved by a coal fired plant cause a bunch would have starved to death with out food, or froze to death without power to heat their homes or died of illness because there was no hot water to take a bath in. But go ahead and tell it as many times as you can it wont make it true but you will sway the ignorant. I’m not even saying the statement isn’t true it’s just to broad and without qualifying facts should have been left unsaid. Otherwise it’s just propaganda.

    • @Joe Matthis@Joe Matthis Joe, you are certainly right. Many things can be the cause of even more things out there – it’s the butterfly effect. But, historically, things have been approached from the outside in – so if someone tries to explain an audience in wider terms doesn’t mean the audience shouldn’t read more from more scientifically-based sources. That’s why we always make a link to the source of the article (that’s why all sites do that), so that the user can go trace the source of information and find out more. It’s that simple.


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