About three-quarters of the
anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere during the past 20
years have been due to fossil-fuel burning. Activities consuming fossil fuels
include power generation, industrial/manufacturing processes, transport. The
rest of carbon dioxide emissions are predominantly due to land-use change,
The main drawback of fossil fuels is pollution. Burning any fossil fuel mainly
produces carbon dioxide, which contributes to the "greenhouse effect", warming
the Earth. It produces more carbon dioxide than burning oil or gas. It also
produces sulphur dioxide, a gas that contributes to acid rain. We can reduce
this before releasing the waste gases into the atmosphere. It is a leading cause
of smog, global warming, and air toxics.
Coal is particularly nasty. The attraction to coal is powerful and obvious
because the Pakistan, being one of the largest coals (lignite) deposits in the
world consisting of 184,123 billion tons which can produce 1000,000 MW of
electricity for next three hundred years.
Microscopic particles like sulphates and carbon released from coal-burning power
plants and automobiles can reflect sunlight back into space, producing a cooling
effect. This can in turn influence global wind circulation patterns that
underlie the monsoon system.
One 500 MW power plant generates about 3 million tons of carbon dioxide every
year. Other toxic byproducts include fine-grain particulates, heavy metals like
mercury, lead, chromium and nickel, trace elements such as arsenic and selenium,
and various organics like dichloroethane, benzene, carbon tetrachloride,
chloroform, and trichloroethylene.
Oxides of nitrogen and sulfur are common pollutants from coal, and are found at
higher levels in anthracite than in bituminous coal.
Coal mining produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Methane is the naturally
occurring product of the decay of organic matter as coal deposits are formed
with increasing depths of burial, rising temperatures, and rising pressures over
geological time. A portion of the methane produced is absorbed by the coal and
later released from the coal seam and surrounding disturbed strata during the
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, methane has a global
warming potential 21 times greater than that of carbon dioxide on a 100 year
time line. While burning coal in power plants is most harmful to air quality,
due to the emission of dangerous gases, the process of mining can release
pockets of hazardous gases.
WHO estimates more than 2 million people die every year from breathing in tiny
particles present in indoor and outdoor air pollution. PM10 particles, which are
particles of 10 micrometers or less, which can penetrate into the lungs and may
enter the bloodstream, can cause heart disease, lung cancer, asthma, and acute
lower respiratory infections.
The WHO air quality guidelines for PM10 is 20 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3)
as an annual average, but the data released today shows that average PM10 in
some cities has reached up to 300 µg/m3.
Burning coal consumption is main reckoning of air pollution this polluted air
further causes land pollution and at last mix with water resultant water
pollution all different types of pollution impacts negatively on both biotic and
a biotic factors, like diseases in all living species and depletion in their
number, disturbance of food chain, soil erosion, flooding, and drought etc.
The Ozone Layer, which is so essential for life on earth, is unfortunately being
depleted due to different kinds of pollutions. The global community especially
the developing countries are now facing the challenge of the elimination of
Hydro-chlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) in foam and refrigeration industry. It is a
second kind of Ozone Depleting Chemical Substance which although has low Ozone
Depleting Potential (ODP), yet it possesses high Global Warming Potential (GWP).
The known health consequences of this toxic brew of air and water pollution are
many, and include nervous system problems in infants and children, asthma,
chronic bronchitis, lung cancer, a suite of cardiovascular problems and kidney
disease. The environmental impacts are well documented, and not pretty.
• 3,700,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), the primary human cause of global
warming--as much carbon dioxide as cutting down 161 million trees.
• 10,000 tons of sulphur dioxide (SO2), which causes acid rain that damages
forests, lakes, and buildings, and forms small airborne particles that can
penetrate deep into lungs.
• 500 tons of small airborne particles, which can cause chronic bronchitis,
aggravated asthma, and premature death, as well as haze obstructing visibility.
• 10,200 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx), as much as would be emitted by half a
million late-model cars. NOx leads to formation of ozone (smog) which inflames
the lungs, burning through lung tissue making people more susceptible to
• 720 tons of carbon monoxide (CO), which causes headaches and place additional
stress on people with heart disease.
• 220 tons of hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds (VOC), which form ozone.
• 170 pounds of mercury, where just 1/70th of a teaspoon deposited on a 25-acre
lake can make the fish unsafe to eat.
• 225 pounds of arsenic, which will cause cancer in one out of 100 people who
drink water containing 50 parts per billion.
• 114 pounds of lead, 4 pounds of cadmium, other toxic heavy metals and trace
amount of uranium.
Pollution from coal mining may have a negative impact on public health in mining
communities, according to data analyzed in a West Virginia University research
Miners in coal companies are on higher risk rather than people living away from
mining areas. According to Hendryx, main researcher, the data show that people
in coal mining communities
• Have a 70 percent increased risk for developing kidney disease.
• Have a 64 percent increased risk for developing chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease (COPD) such as emphysema.
• Are 30 percent more likely to report high blood pressure (hypertension).
October is Children’s Health Month, and it is been a good time to focus
attention on cleaning up hazards that affect kids more as they grow and develop,
automatically further generation become healthy and strong.