Coal Dust Responsible for Thousands of Deaths in the E.U.

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Roughly 22,900 premature deaths occur per year in the E.U. because of coal dust from Europe’s largest coal power stations. Particulate matter, ground-level ozone, and nitrogen dioxide are all factors of this dust that can travel several kilometers.

“Air pollution is responsible for millions of deaths worldwide,” Roberto Bertollini, a doctor, chief scientist, and World Health Organization (WHO) Representative to the E.U., said in a statement. “Higher temperatures resulting from climate change will exacerbate the problem.”

Germany is responsible for causing the most premature deaths affecting France, Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Italy, the U.K. and Poland.

“The results are staggering. The only way to eliminate the health impacts associated with burning coal in Europe is to phase out these dirty power plants and replace them with clean renewable energy. The current EU renewable energy target has been proven to boost renewable energy and help modernize energy systems and the economy. Europe must continue down the path of clean renewable energy by setting an ambitious, binding 2030 renewable energy target,” said Greenpeace International energy campaigner Lauri Myllyvirta.

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Not only are premature deaths occurring, but 11,800 new cases of chronic bronchitis and 21,900 hospital admissions in 2013 as well. These numbers are very shocking and will hopefully help impact the use of clean energy.

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