Cleaner Air, Healthier People: How the Closure of a Coal Plant Improved Public Health

The closure of a coal processing plant in the US has had a major impact on public health.

Yay! Good news.

The plant, which was located on Neville Island in the Ohio River, near Pittsburgh, ceased operations in 2016 after being used for coal-coke production for nearly a century.

The closure resulted in a significant reduction in air pollution for the local communities.

Water and soil components yet to be tested.

Sulphur dioxide levels decreased by 90%, arsenic by 66%, and particle pollution also showed improvement.

These changes had a profound effect on the health of the residents.

Let's delve into further details.

One of the most striking findings of the study was the immediate 42% decrease in emergency room visits for heart problems following the closure of the coal plant.

This decline continued over the subsequent three years, demonstrating the long-term health improvements resulting from the closure.

Similar patterns were observed in stroke cases. Inpatient cardiovascular hospitalizations per year showed a decrease after closure

Notably, the control communities located away from the plant did not experience these changes, highlighting the direct impact of the coal plant closure on public health.

The study's lead researcher emphasized that the health benefits observed from the coal plant's closure provide solid confirmation that fossil fuel-related air pollution is particularly toxic.

This finding underscores the need to recognize the underestimated local and immediate health benefits that arise from phasing out fossil fuel processing and combustion in cities and towns.

Policymakers must prioritize cleaner air to improve public health and reduce healthcare costs.

We need to mobilize them!