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National Briefing / Tennessee

Residents ailing after sludge spill

February 28, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Residents in the Kingston area are reporting breathing problems and stress after more than 1 billion gallons of coal ash sludge spilled from a power plant storage facility.

Last month, the state health department interviewed 368 residents within a 1.5-mile radius of the Kingston Fossil Plant. The plant is run by the Tennessee Valley Authority, the nation's largest public utility company.

Ash surged into a neighborhood and a river when a containment wall broke there in December.

A third of survey respondents said they perceived worsening upper respiratory symptoms. About half reported mental health issues.

Only 66% said they had washed their hands after touching the sludge.

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