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Coal Ash Is More Radioactive Than Nuclear Waste - Scientific American
I didn't know this:
At issue is coal's content of uranium and thorium, both radioactive elements. They occur in such trace amounts in natural, or "whole," coal that they aren't a problem. But when coal is burned into fly ash, uranium and thorium are concentrated at up to 10 times their original levels.

Fly ash uranium sometimes leaches into the soil and water surrounding a coal plant, affecting cropland and, in turn, food. People living within a "stack shadow"—the area within a half- to one-mile (0.8- to 1.6-kilometer) radius of a coal plant's smokestacks—might then ingest small amounts of radiation. Fly ash is also disposed of in landfills and abandoned mines and quarries, posing a potential risk to people living around those areas.

(via Jamie McCarthy)
via:jamiemccarthy  coal  environment  nuclear  pollution  fly-ash  coal-ash  safety  health 
19 days ago by jm
Canaries As Poisonous Gas Detectors
n the late 1890s, [John] Haldane began experimenting on small animals like white mice and canaries [to detect carbon monoxide]. Small animals have faster metabolism rate, and hence show the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning much earlier even in the presence of small quantities of the noxious gas. Canaries are especially good at detecting toxins in the air because of their specialized respiratory system.
carbon-monoxide  gas  safety  canaries  coal  mining  mines  respiration  gas-detectors 
may 2018 by jm

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