A February 2009 investigation by the Center revealed the threats of coal ash on the environment and human health near ponds, landfills, and pits. In November, the Center spotlighted the toll coal ash has taken on citizens in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia who live in the shadows of one of the nation’s largest coal ash ponds — Little Blue Run, owned by First Energy. Coal ash, the residue in the production of electricity, typically is dumped in unlined or partially lined sites near the more than 500 coal-fired power plants nationwide.
“Several of these chemicals in pregnant women were at the same concentrations that have been associated with negative effects in children from other studies. In addition, exposure to multiple chemicals that can increase the risk of the same adverse health outcome can have a greater impact than exposure to just one chemical,” said Woodruff, an associate professor in the UCSF Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences.