ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH THE EXPLOITATION OF COAL AND APPLICATION OF AQUATIC ECOTOXICOLOGY AS A TOOL FOR BIOMONITORING

Nelissa Camargo Torrezani, Edson Fontes Oliveira

Abstract


Coal is considered a fossil fuel with a high energy content that is, at the same time, aggressive to the environment. Historically, the exploitation of coal began in the First Industrial Revolution of the Eighteenth Century. Coal is a sedimentary solid rock composed predominantly of carbon. Coal buried with organic and inorganic aggregates for many years in environments saturated with water produces toxic effects when it reacts with oxygen. The assessment of the risks arising from contamination of the aquatic environment by coal processing requires means to check the levels of contaminants, for which an essential tool has been applied ecotoxicology. This study aims to critically evaluate the information available in the literature about the possible environmental problems associated with the exploitation of coal, as well as identifying the role of aquatic ecotoxicology in this process. Ecotoxicological assays are presented as an important tool in monitoring natural ecosystems, having as their main bioindicators microcrustaceans, mollusks, fish, amphibians, and mammals. It is vital to use strategies that minimize and remedy the environmental impacts occurring during the production, processing and exploitation of coal, thereby avoiding expenditure on the recovery of affected environments, and contributing to environmental quality.


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