The act of burning coal for energy releases fine particles (also known as soot) into the air. Because these particles are so small, they are able to sneek past the body’s normal defenses and make it all the way to the lungs. Once in the lungs, fine particles can irritate the tissue of the lungs, which can cause inflamation, diminishe lung function, and weakening of the lung’s natural defenses. All of these effects can have serious long term consequences, including increased risk of infections, chronic breathing difficulties (such as asthma or bronchitis), and even lung cancer.
Burning coal creates tons of very small particles that due to their size have greater ability to get into people’s lungs or bronchial tubes and stay there. Some people bodies react to these irritants in the form of an asthma attack, constricting the bronchial tubes. THe particles are also carcinogenic contributing to lung cancer.
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