Coal Slurry is a fluid produced by washing coal with water and chemicals prior to shipping the coal to market. Coal washing reduces the amount of non-combustible materials (including sulfur) from the coal. Coal slurry consists of water, fine particles derived from the coal, and chemicals used in coal washing. Coal slurry is stored in surface impoundments or injected underground for storage in abandoned underground mines. The precise chemical composition of coal slurry is largely unknown and may be variable.1
A partial list of organics and inorganic compounds and elements found in coal slurry are listed below. In addition to these contaminants, coal slurry has been found to contain high levels of sulfates, diesel fuel, lye, caustic starch, nitric and sulfuric acids, as well as a large number of patented industrial coagulants, surfactants and flocculants whose exact composition is unknown, but come with many toxic exposure warnings.
Many of these compounds are known to be carcinogenic, neurotoxic, genotoxic, and connected to kidney disease and failure.
Chronic exposure to the metals found in coal slurry can damage virtually every part of the body. Health problems caused by these metals include intestinal lesions, neuropathy, kidney and liver failure, cancer, high blood pressure, brittle bones, miscarriages and birth defects among others.
Specific studies of the effects of coal slurry compounds on human cell tissues has found evidence that coal slurry causes cancerous proliferation, cell death and damage to kidney cells.2
Partial List of Organic Compounds Found in Slurry:
Butyl benzyl phthalate
4-Bromophenyl phenyl ether
4-Chhlorophenyl phenyl ether
Heavy Metals Found in Coal Slurry: