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Coal Pollution Damages Human Health at Every Stage of Coal Life Cycle, Reports Physicians for Social Responsibility
Date:11/18/2009

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Physicians for Social Responsibility today released a groundbreaking medical report, "Coal's Assault on Human Health," which takes a new look at the devastating impacts of coal on the human body. By examining the impact of coal pollution on the major organ systems of the human body, the report concludes that coal contributes to four of the top five causes of mortality in the U.S. and is responsible for increasing the incidence of major diseases already affecting large portions of the U.S. population. A copy of the full report can be found at http://www.psr.org/coalreport.

"The findings of this report are clear: while the U.S. relies heavily on coal for its energy needs, the consequences of that reliance for our health are grave," said Alan H. Lockwood, MD FAAN, a principal author of the report and a professor of neurology at the University at Buffalo.

"These stark conclusions leave no room for doubt or delay," said Kristen Welker-Hood, SCD MSN RN, PSR's director of environment and health programs. "The time has come for our nation to establish a health-driven energy policy that replaces our dependence on coal with clean, safe alternatives. Business as usual is extracting a deadly price on our health. Coal is no longer an option."

Also participating in the report's release were the American Lung Association and the American Nurses Association.

Coal combustion releases mercury, particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and dozens of other substances known to be hazardous to human health. This report looks at the cumulative harm inflicted by those pollutants on three major body organ systems: the respiratory system, the cardiovascular system, and the nervous system. The report also considers coal's contribution to global warming, and the health implications of global warmin
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SOURCE Physicians for Social Responsibility
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