Map of coal power by state. Note: about of third of the air pollution can go thousands of miles from the plant. There is more impact on air quality and health of those near the plants. Air pollution has been improved in the USA since the 1950s and 1960s. There is still a negative effect. 24,000 coal impacted deaths and a total of 60,000 air pollution impacted deaths out of 2.5 million deaths from any cause. Cigarette smoking and obesity have larger negative effects, which is seen in West Virginia’s health statistics. The bad air pollution states are ending up at or near the bottom of state health rankings.
They have mapped the health effects from particulates from all coal plants based on the measurement of incremental pollution by location. They have the increased levels of health impacts in those same locations.
PM2.5 is 10-12% from coal power plants. So it is not the whole problem but eliminating that pollution source would improve health and save lives.
Rank State # of Plants Total Capacity 2005 Power Prod. 1 Texas 20 21,238 MW 148,759 GWh 2 Ohio 35 23,823 MW 137,457 GWh 3 Indiana 31 21,551 MW 123,985 GWh 4 Pennsylvania 40 20,475 MW 122,093 GWh 5 Illinois 32 17,565 MW 92,772 GWh 6 Kentucky 21 16,510 MW 92,613 GWh 7 West Virginia 19 15,372 MW 91,601 GWh 8 Georgia 16 14,594 MW 87,624 GWh 9 North Carolina 25 13,279 MW 78,854 GWh 10 Missouri 24 11,810 MW 77,714 GWh 11 Michigan 33 12,891 MW 71,871 GWh 12 Alabama 11 12,684 MW 70,144 GWh 13 Florida 15 11,382 MW 66,378 GWh 14 Tennessee 13 10,290 MW 59,264 GWh 15 Wyoming 10 6,168 MW 43,421 GWh 16 Wisconsin 28 7,116 MW 41,675 GWh
Hospitalizations for asthma increase by 1.4 times for older populations with worse PM2.5 and ozone. Daily measurements of hospitalization and air pollution levels.
Cities with worse PM2.5 have people with lower life expectancy. This shows that improving by 10% on PM2.5 would save lives and improve public health.
NRDC – In 2008, power plants were responsible for 66 percent of sulfur dioxide emissions, 19 percent of nitrogen oxides emissions, 72 percent of mercury air emissions, and 39 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States.
Annual-average population-weighted fine particulate matter concentrations (PM 2.5) for Chinese provinces in 2007. Measured by Aura Satellite.
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