Aerosolized Coal Fly Ash: Risk Factor for Neuro-Degenerative Disease | Chapter 04 | Current Trends in Medicine and Medical Research Vol. 1

Introduction: Burning coal accounts for one-third of global energy utilization and 40% of the electricity generated throughout the world. The heavy coal ash settles beneath the burner, while the light ash, called coal fly ash (CFA), condenses and accumulates in the vapors above the burner, and exits with the exhaust gases. Being a concentrate of the toxins originally present in the coal, in Western nations, CFA is electrostatically trapped and sequestered. Air pollution is one of the great killers of our age. It is increasing at an alarming rate and is currently the fourth leading cause of death world-wide. Exposure to air pollution is known to be associated with respiratory, cardiovascular, and stroke-related morbidity and mortality.

Aims: Coal fly ash (CFA), the major waste product of coal-burning utilities, is trapped and contained in Western nations, but not generally in India and China, where it is a major component of air pollution. In Western nations, the CFA trapping is inefficient, exposing downwind populations to the toxic aerosols. Similarly, CFA industry workers and those living downwind of coal ash piles may be exposed to the wind-blown toxins. Aerosolized coal fly ash, especially as used for climate manipulation, is a particularly hazardous form of air pollution. Our objective is to review the multifold components of coal fly ash, linked to neurodegenerative disease, which is rapidly increasing world-wide.

Methods: We review the interdisciplinary scientific and medical literature.

Results: The recent finding of spherical exogenous magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles in the brain tissue of persons with dementia suggests an origin in air pollution produced by coal fly ash. The primary components of coal fly ash, iron oxides and aluminosilicates, are all found in the abnormal proteins that characterize Alzheimer’s dementia. The presence of these substances in brain tissue leads to oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. Energy absorbed by magnetite from external electromagnetic fields may contribute to this neuropathology.

Conclusions: Considering the well-known and manifold toxicities of CFA, the public should be made aware of the potential risks for neurodegenerative disease posed by aerosolized CFA, including its use in climate alteration activities. Air pollution is linked to neurodegenerative disease and dementia, which is reaching pandemic proportions. This recent finding of exogenous magnetite nanoparticles in brain tissue is like a “smoking gun,” indicating a strongly supported relationship between pollution formed by combustion and neurodegenerative disease. Among several sources of exogenous neurologically damaging magnetite pollution, we have shown that the size and morphology of these particles is most consistent with an origin in coal fly ash. The principal components of coal fly ash, i.e., aluminosilicates and magnetite, are all found in in the abnormal protein material that characterizes Alzheimer’s Dementia. Magnetite is extremely sensitive to external electromagnetic fields and this fact hints at a synergistic role of electromagnetic fields in producing neurodegeneration. Additional research is urgently needed to confirm and further investigate these findings. There is no effective regulation or monitoring of the principal elements (e.g., Al, Si, and Fe) in aerosolized coal fly ash. The ultrafine and nanoparticles

Biography of author(s)

Mark Whiteside, M.D., M.P.H.
Florida Department of Health in Monroe County, 1100 Simonton Street Key West, FL 33040, USA.

J. Marvin Herndon, Ph.D.
Transdyne Corporation, 11044 Red Rock Drive, San Diego, CA 92131, USA.

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