Glossary of dangerous pollutants emitted by coal-fired power plants
11/19/2008 12:01 AM
11/24/2008 1:33 AM
The most common dangerous pollutants emitted by coal-fired power plants are:
Mercury — A deadly poison. Even tiny amounts, undiluted, can kill.
CO2 — Carbon dioxide. A major heat-trapping greenhouse gas blamed for climate change.
NO2 — Nitrogen dioxide. A greenhouse gas. Contributes to smog, acid rain and water pollution. Causes breathing problems.
PPM — Particulate matter. Tiny particles that trigger lung and heart problems.
SO2 — Sulfur dioxide. Helps form acid rain, water pollution. Damages crops, animals. Causes lung problems.
MW stands for megawatts. Power plants traditionally measure electric output in megawatts. One megawatt can power up to a half-million homes and perhaps several hundred businesses, depending on their size.
Editor's Choice Videos
Join the Discussion
The State is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.