In the American Coal Ash Association’s publication Ash At Work, Haley & Aldrich Principal Toxicologist Lisa JN Bradley, Ph.D., DABT, presents several scientific reasons why coal ash is not toxic. She dives into four main points:
- When evaluating the material as a whole, there is a wealth of information on the toxicity testing of coal ash in mammalian and aquatic species that demonstrates that coal ash is not toxic.
- The constituents in coal, and coal ash, are naturally occurring in the world around us.
- When looking at the trace elements present in coal ash on an individual basis, comparison of concentrations to screening levels developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a child’s and adult’s daily exposure to soil in a residential setting demonstrates that all are below the screening levels with the exception of the upper-bound concentrations of a few constituents.
- Adverse health effects can be caused by the constituents in coal ash, or coal ash itself, only if one is (a) exposed to the material, and (b) exposed at a level high enough to elicit a response.