Yes. People living near sites used to store ash or sludge from coal-fired plants have a 1 in 50 chance of getting cancer. Coal ash contains, “high levels of arsenic, lead, mercury and boron, each of which has been known to cause cancer, neurological and development problems, and other illnesses,” according to the first citation. Check out the links for more info, but, in general, coal ash is bad stuff, and will make you sick. The possibility for respiratory issues like asthma, as well, are likely to be high whenever you’re talking about major contaminants being in the air.
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