US Climate and Health Alliance

The Human Health Effects of Rail Transport of Coal Through Multnomah County, Oregon A Health Analysis and Recommendations for Further Action


Balancing the potential benefits and harms of using coal as an energy source is an ongoing challenge for local communities and the global economy. Coal is a natural resource that has long been used to power a wide variety of activities. It is a non-renewable resource; the bulk of the coal mined today is about 300 million years old and will not be replaced during human existence. Though it is a naturally occurring substance, coal can be dangerous to human health, especially in its particulate form. Additionally, the extraction, transportation, and combustion of coal can have major impacts on natural, social, and economic conditions. This health analysis considers the potential impacts and human health consequences of three proposed coal export projects that could result in rail transport of coal through Multnomah County.

Resource Type
Multnomah County Health Department
Resource URL
Feb 1, 2013
Organization Type
State/local health department (inc. international)
Health and Human Impact
Climate and Environmental Impact
Air pollution
Emission Sources
Conventional energy Energy Conventional
Fossil Fuel
Health impact assessment

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