Coal Plants Might Be Even More Toxic Than We Thought

Coal Plants Might Be Even More Toxic Than We Thought
Rebecca Droke/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP

Scientists studying the aftermath of a massive coal-ash spill in North Carolina have discovered a byproduct of the fossil fuel that may pose human health risks. 

Duke Energy Corp. announced in early February 2014 that drainage from a broken pipe was leaking coal-ash into the Dan River, which runs through Virginia and North Carolina. Within a few days, researchers at Virginia Tech realized the spill created an unusual opportunity to better understand how particles just billionths of a meter wide, notably arsenic, embedded themselves in an ecosystem. They published that work in 2015.

Then came the surprise.

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