Coal Ash Disposal in China

Photo | 2013-09-06

Trucks continue to dump coal ash into a valley that has already been nearly filled with this toxic solid waste, at the Dawukou Power Plant, Ningxia. Coal ash that has been dumped in disposal sites without first being properly disposed of is easily whipped up into the atmosphere by strong winds, mixing into dust storm and traveling thousands of kilometers. But even more worrying is that this coal ash contains a high concentration of heavy metals and other toxic pollutants, including arsenic, selenium, lead and mercury. The presence of coal ash has transformed the physical and chemical composition of dust storms which now pose a serious threat to people’s health.