Letter: Coal dust is pollution we must avoid



I am a grandmother and a registered nurse who objects to the plans for massive coal transports by rail through our cities.

As we can all see, coal trains are not covered. The coal industry has plans to send as many as 26 trains per day, each a mile long, through the area. Coal dust spewings contain mercury, arsenic and lead.

Toxic mercury in fish is the reason that doctors say that many fish should no longer be eaten by pregnant women nor by children.

We don’t want coal dust in our gardens, either. Diesel train fumes contain formaldehyde, arsenic and benzene. Asthma patients must never inhale formaldehyde. Patients with exacerbated heart and lung disease could take longer to reach the hospitals, with these many trains blocking traffic at railroad crossings.

I moved here, near my daughter and her family, and was thrilled that Washington is clean and beautiful.

However, big increases in pollution are being planned, here and right now. Coal transported on our rails would be shipped to burn overseas in unregulated factories in Asia. That would impair the health of all our children and all children of the world.

Dorethea Simone