From The Ashes, directed by Directed by Michael Bonfiglio, takes a compelling looks at the health, economic, and environmental issues – and the many lives and communities – behind the “war on coal.” The documentary premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival and will air globally on National Geographic in the U.S. on June 25, 2017 and globally this summer.
Coal’s Impacts On Public Health
The byproducts of coal mining and coal burning create serious public health hazards. Lead, arsenic, mercury, uranium, and other heavy metals are among the toxic byproducts of coal use, as are pollutants such as coal ash, slurry, and sludge. Air pollution caused by coal-burning power plants can lead to heart disease, asthma, cancer, and other serious health problems. Pollution from coal plants causes 7,500 deaths in the United States each year. (reference)
Some pollutants from coal plants that are toxic to human health, including mercury, also contaminate lakes, rivers, and streams. Debris and other byproducts from mining pollute rivers, streams, and underground aquifers that people use for drinking water.
Asthma, Cardiopulmonary Conditions, Birth Defects, & More
Communities in proximity to coal-powered plants experience higher-than-normal rates of asthma and other respiratory conditions from poor air quality. Severe cardiopulmonary conditions, neurological symptoms, birth defects, and premature deaths are prevalent in low-income and minority communities close to coal mining operations, where contaminated drinking water, mercury poisoning, and ozone pollution occur. (reference)
Check out the trailer below and the documentary website for more information.