Coal Mining And Hospitalization Patterns

Hospitalization Patterns Associated with Appalachian Coal Mining

Michael Hendryx, Melissa Ahern, and Timothy Nurkiewicz

Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A, 2007

 

Keywords:  Coal mining, Appalachia, hospitalization, heart disease

Purpose:  The authors investigated whether the volume of coal mining was related to population hospitalization risk for diseases believed to be sensitive to coal mining by-products

Important Finding:  In this study, the authors found that the volume of coal mining has a significant impact on hospitalization risk, particularly for hypertension and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Significant Quotes:  “If exposure effects are supported by further research, economic analyses of coal’s contribution to domestic productivity may need to be  revised to take into account the lost productivity and medical care costs linked to residential proximity to coal mining.”

Results:  The findings of this study showed the odds for hospitalization for COPD increased 1% for each 1462 tons of coal produced and the odds of hospitalization for hypertension increased 1% for every 1873 tons. Both of these conditions are related to exposure to particulates and other pollution associated with coal mining. The authors also point out other effects of the production and consumption of coal including air pollution, occupational hazards, and global climate change.

 

Hendryx, M., M. Ahern, and T. Nurkiewicz. "Hospitalization Patterns Associated with Appalachian Coal Mining". Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A, 70 (2011): 2064-70.