By Kyleigh Nevis
The “Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act” was passed into law in 1969 in an effort to prevent black lung disease among coal miners after being recognized as an occupational disease in the early 1950s.
This month, a landmark study revealing an increase in cancer rates among those living near streams polluted by coal mining was published in EcoHealth, a peer-reviewed medical journal. Nathaniel Hitt and Michael Hendryx, researchers at Virginia Tech and West Virginia University, used county-level data from the CDC to access human cancer mortality rates in areas where the ecological integrity of streams was degraded by coal mining. An increase in respiratory, digestive, urinary, and breast cancer rates were found in areas of high coal mining intensity.
The study’s results add to the overwhelming evidence that coal mining is dangerously harmful to public health.
The Charleston Gazette published the findings yesterday, surely as a tribute to Earth Day. What a great way to serve the “nationwide environmental teach-in” pioneered by Senator Nelson in 1970.
So, what new legislation can we expect the U.S. government to pass if a link between coal mining and cancer has been established?
To read the full article from the Charleston Gazette: http://www.wvgazette.com/News/201004210757