Coal ash includes a number of by-products produced from burning coal, including:
- Fly Ash, a very fine, powdery material composed mostly of silica made from the burning of finely ground coal in a boiler.
- Bottom Ash, a coarse, angular ash particle that is too large to be carried up into the smoke stacks so it forms in the bottom of the coal furnace.
- Boiler Slag, molten bottom ash from slag tap and cyclone type furnaces that turns into pellets that have a smooth glassy appearance after it is cooled with water.
- Flue Gas Desulfurization Material, a material leftover from the process of reducing sulfur dioxide emissions from a coal-fired boiler that can be a wet sludge consisting of calcium sulfite or calcium sulfate or a dry powered material that is a mixture of sulfites and sulfates.
Other types of by-products are:
- fluidized bed combustion ash,
- cenospheres, and
- scrubber residues.
Lead toxicity is an important environmental disease and its effects on the human body are devastating. There is almost no function in the human body which is not affected by lead toxicity. Though in countries like US and Canada the use of lead has been controlled up to a certain extent, it is still used vehemently in the developing countries. Lead is highly persistent in the environment and because of its continuous use its levels rise in almost every country, posing serious threats.
Heavy metals, including lead, create reactive radicals which damage cell structures, including DNA and cell membrane. Lead also interferes with the enzymes that help in the synthesis of vitamin D and with enzymes that maintain the integrity of the cell membrane. Lead was also found to interfere with DNA transcription.
How are people exposed to arsenic?
There is no safe amount of lead intake for the human body, especially for children under the age of 6. Although it’s impossible to completely avoid consuming any lead, it is very important to be aware of lead levels in certain foods.