By Maddy Bennett/Public Citizen
Recent articles by E&E Publishing and Global Community Monitor recount the ongoing battle between an Alaskan community and a coal facility.
According to a report jointly released by Alaska Community Action on Toxics, the Sierra Club, the Alaska Conservation Foundation, and Global Community Monitor, the Seward Coal Loading Facility is the biggest air polluter in Seward, AK.The report states,”The data indicated that coal makes up the majority of the dust captured in the air monitors, which demonstrates that the Seward Coal Loading Facility is a major contributor to airborne dust in Seward.”
There’s more to coal dust than just bits of carbon. It also contains a known carcinogen, crystalline silica. Inhaling crystalline silica dust can cause silicosis, which causes scarring of the alveoli in lungs, thus causing breathing difficulties that could be fatal. As the data show, pollutants, including crystalline silica, have reached unsafe levels in the areas around the coal terminal. Air pollution can increase asthma attacks and is linked to pulmonary disease, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and dementia. Continue reading