In January 2009, a “tsunami” of coal consumption waste sludged its way ashore in Harriman, Tennessee, after some combustion at a coal containment pond near the town.
Groundwater contamination resulting from Hurricane Katrina has also led to oil and other harmful chemicals seeping into drinking water in Louisiana. This can lead to minor aftereffects like diarrhea or stomach irritation, but heavier amounts will cause birth defects.
Of course, the smog in L.A. and its fellow California city Bakersfield face a catastrophic level. The toxic cloud floating above the City of Angels has been continuously ranked by the American Lung Association as an extreme hazard to people’s health.
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