Dear Editor: A recent commentary in the Cap Times by Professor Carl Lindner regarding the effects of coal dust emitted by We Energies piqued my interest. I have Restrictive Lung Disease, which prompted more research.
Coal dust carries invisible portions of toxic heavy metals at low concentration levels. We are breathing in lead, mercury, nickel, tin, cadmium, antimony, arsenic, radio isotopes of thorium, and strontium. The tiny coal dust particles settle in the lungs where they stay forever. They can lead to lung and heart diseases and are harmful to people who have weakened immune systems. I hope every reader will look them up and learn how they can adversely affect our bodies.
Coal gets here by train. This is harmful to humans and to the environment. The tiny particles cover the leaves of vegetation, which interferes with the process of photosynthesis, and then it is transmitted to wild animals who feed on the plants. Rain on the open train cars leaches chemicals from coal into the ground. Higher levels of arsenic have been found in soil around the tracks and areas where wet coal has been dumped.
It is urgent that We Energies transition to clean renewable energy for southeastern Wisconsin immediately. We have no choice about the air we breathe, but We Energies does. I urge this for everyone who lives here, and for the wildlife and vegetation that our environment depends on.
Shirley A. Reynolds
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