Aerosols near by a coal fired thermal power plant: Chemical composition and toxic evaluation.
Chemosphere. 2009 Mar 3;
Authors: Jayasekher T
Industrial processes discharge fine particulates containing organic as well as inorganic compounds into the atmosphere which are known to induce damage to cell and DNA, both in vitro and in vivo.
Source and area specific studies with respect to the chemical composition, size and shape of the particles, and toxicity evaluations are very much limited.
This study aims to investigate the trace elements associated with the aerosol particles distributed near to a coal burning thermal power plant and to evaluate their toxicity through Comet assay.
PM(10) (particles determined by mass passing an inlet with a 50% cut-off efficiency having a 10-mum aerodynamic diameter) samples were collected using respirable dust samplers.
Twelve elements (Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb, Se, Hg, and As) were analyzed using ICP-AES. Comet assay was done with the extracts of aerosols in phosphate buffered saline (PBS).
Results show that Fe and Zn were found to be the predominant elements along with traces of other analyzed elements.
Spherical shaped ultrafine particles of <1mum aerodynamic diameter were detected through scanning electron microscope. PM(10) particles near to the coal burning power plant produced comet indicating their potential to induce DNA damage.
DNA damage property is found to be depending upon the chemical characteristics of the components associated with the particles besides the physical properties such as size and shape.
PMID: 19264341 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1926 ... t=Abstract
The recent research on the high toxicity of Fine Particle Pollution is also a worry (Catalist did a show on this last year. with the new machine JUST imported to measure this- the only one in Oz?
One of the reasons that smoke is so deadly is its "fine particle" size.
'Nano' particles are so small they can get into our DNA- hence the recent scare on nano-particles in some sunscreens
http://hypography.com/forums/medical-sc ... ng-us.html
"Dr. Karl's" reaction to coal power stations
In his book "Sensational Moments in Science", ABC Press, 2001. He has an interesting take on coal power:-
"In 1982, some 111 (US)nuclear-fired power plants consumed about 540 tonnes of nuclear fuel.
In the same year, coal-fired power plants released over 800 tonnes of uranium." into the atmosphere.
"If a single nuclear-fired plant released 8K of uranium into the bio-sphere. there would be . .an enormous outcry."
He says the nuclear content of coal has not yet reached general public awareness in the same way that the greenhouse effect AIDs, or the ozone hole have.
There are no nuclear regulations about the disposal of coal ash
Coal apparently contains a heap of uranium and thorium
He concludes that you will get three times more radiation from a coal fired power plant than a nuclear fueled power plant! That's if you include the complete nuclear fuel cycle mining, processing operating, disposal(!?)
If you don't include these your average coal-fired power plant puts out 100 times more radiation than a nuclear-fired plant.
I don't understand why we don't use our coal to make fuel/petrol as has been done in S. Africa for 50+ years. Also coal is the basis of much of the chemical industry. Does Australia have one?
Also Victorian Brown Coal is the closest thing we have to Europena/temperate Peat in this country.
Would we be better served using it in our gardens and in horticulture?
You can no longer harvest peat in many Euro Countries because of the local environmental damage this does.
But harvesting brown Coal is OK?
I am told that the coal burnt on the Central Coast of NSW to power Sydney is mix of good export coal + 50% crap.
The good, high quality coal goes to Japan et al. In Japan it is dumped in the sea/harbours for a future reserve.
Are any coal companies owned by Australian firms or are they all owned by OS multinationals?
On the Central Coast of NSW (Yarramalong River Valley) there is a bun-fight going on at the moment as a Korean company wants to mine under the river. People are frightened of coal-dust-drift and the possible threat to water supplies. This, in an area with bugger all fresh water, that has been on water restrictions as long as anyone can remember, and the State government "planners" keep dumping the flotsam and jetsam of Sydney ( the old, and too young to work, the damaged-the area is 50% pensioner, 20% unemployed Youth).