Air pollution is an important risk factor for health in Europe and worldwide. A recent review of the global burden of disease showed that it is one of the top ten risk factors for health globally. Worldwide an estimated 7 million people died prematurely because of pollution; in the European Union (EU) 400,000 people suffer a premature death.
At each stage of its life cycle, coal pollutes the air we breathe, the water we drink and the land that we depend on. The factsheet describes the impacts of coal mining, preparation, transport and combustion.