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Natural Gas Becomes a Leading Pollution Hazard

According to a recent report, natural gas Pollution now causes more deaths and costs than coal in Illinois, showing yet another danger of burning fossil fuels that is wreaking havoc on the planet’s atmosphere. Researchers at Harvard University discovered that switching away from coal over the last decade saved thousands of lives.

It has significantly decreased the health effects of breathing particulate matter, or soot. However, the figures for coal, another fossil fuel that posed the greatest health risks in 2017, only marginally improved. According to the report, the state’s dependence on gas to heat homes and businesses was responsible for about half of the deaths from soot exposure that year.

And when coal is used to produce electricity is it more dangerous. The disturbing results raise concerns about whether Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed transition to a zero-carbon economy would move quickly enough to phase out gas usage — not only to mitigate climate change but also to ensure Illinoisans breathe clean air.

Chicago seems to be doomed to depend on gas in the future. Peoples Gas will charge consumers $7.7 billion over the next two decades to rebuild outdated distribution lines across the region, even though an accelerating transition to renewable energy will render the project redundant before it is finished.

Soot is one of the most dangerous types of air Pollution, particularly small particles that are invisible to the naked eye but can lodge deep in the lungs and enter the bloodstream. Researchers discovered that inhaling even small quantities can irritate the lungs and cause asthma attacks. Several studies have linked soot exposure to heart attacks and early death.

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