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 and 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.
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.