Burning fossil fuels releases significant quantities of carbon dioxide, aggravating climate change. Although it gets less attention these days, combustion also emits volumes of pollutants, which can cause a variety of illnesses. The most extensive consequences across the U.S. are noted below.
— Mark Fischetti
|U.S. Health Burden Caused by Particulate Pollution from Fossil-Fueled Power Plants|
|Illness||Mean Number of Cases|
|Asthma (hospital admissions)||3,020|
|Pneumonia (hospital admissions)||4,040|
|Asthma (emergency room visits)||7,160|
|Cardiovascular ills (hospital admissions)||9,720|
|Lower respiratory ills||630,000|
|Upper respiratory ills||679,000|
|Lost workdays||5.13 million|
|Minor restricted-activity days||26.3 million|
» Read more about ‘The Human Cost of Energy’ in the September 2011 issue of Scientific American.
Source: “The Health Costs of Inaction with Respect to Air Pollution,” by Pascale Scapecchi, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Environmental Working Papers, No. 2.