Longannet in Kincardine, run by ScottishPower, was highlighted by international group the Health and Environment Alliance (Heal) as one of Europe's top polluters, according to environmentalists who claim the plant's emissions affect the health of people for hundreds of miles around by belching out thousands of tons of pollutants which travel in the atmosphere.
WWF Scotland said the report showed key health reasons for power providers to move away from coal. WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said the findings were significant. He said: "This study shows there are important health reasons why we need to be ending our reliance on coal especially. It's clear that action is needed today to cut emissions from all existing coal power stations, including Longannet."
The report claimed fumes from coal-fired power stations cause 1600 premature deaths in the UK each year and that the emissions are linked to 18,000 premature deaths in the EU each year. Heal said: "A growing body of evidence shows how early-life exposure to air pollutants is contributing to higher risks of developing chronic diseases later in life, including obesity, diabetes, and hormone related cancers."