2017•11•03 Kuala Lumpur
Article by Weiam Al-Hunaishi, UNU-IIGH intern
On 25 October 2017 the United Nation University-International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) hold the second In-house Seminar on Coal Industry and Environmental Health in China.
In Coal industries, many migrant workers face the severe health effects caused by the hazardous condition, in which their everyday work and life is operated. Coal burning effect extends to not only migrants but also to the residence of cities. According to the World Health Organization, in urban areas, the increasing exposure to highly toxic particles has been elevating persistently and threatening the health of its residents.
At the same time, the destructive environmental impacts of coal burning are increasing with the growth in demands of power plants. In China alone, the average amount of coal burning annually was 3.8 billion compared to 4.3 billion by the rest of the world in 2011. Actions must be taken to ensure the safe production of power plants by the coal industries.
In her lecture, PhD Fellow, Li Fangfang illustrated the coal industry’s profound impacts on environment and migrant coal miners in China. This presentation focused on the environmental and social phenomena of coal consumptions and proposed some possible solutions. For a better support of the affected people by the coal industry, the presenter elaborated on the possible research and steps to be taken on the physical and psychological levels.
Coal mining is an important source for functionalization of everyday life and might even be considered as a sign of modernization in some cultures. However, its potential harms to both environment and human welfare is a local and global problem that needs to be addressed urgently to ensure sustainable cities and sustainable development.