Human health and environmental impacts of coal combustion and post-combustion wastes

Author ORCID Identifier

Muhammad Ehsan Munawer 0000-0002-7129-7089


Due to its high energy generation potential, coal is widely used in power generation in different countries. Although, the presence of carbon, hydrogen and sulfur in coal facilitates the energy generation in coal combustion, some pollutants including COx, SOx, NOx, particulate matter (PM) and heavy metals are accumulated in air and water and lead to severe environmental and health impacts as a result of leaching, volatilization, melting, decomposition, oxidation, hydration and other chemical reactions. In addition, fly ash, in both wet and dry forms, is mobilized and induces severe impacts including bone deformities and kidney dysfunction, particularly with exposure of radionuclides. This review will cover the impact of these major pollutants (including COx, SOx, NOx, PM, and heavy metals (traces)) on human health and the environment. Given the lack of adequate data about the cumulative health based impacts of these pollutants from coal combustion, this review can be used as a significant tool to further explore disease-association risks and design standard management protocols to overcome coal associated health and environmental assaults.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.