MTR, Poverty, And Mortality Rates

 

Poverty and Mortality Disparities in Central Appalachia: Mountaintop Mining and Environmental Justice

Michael Hendryx

Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice, 2011

 

Keywords:  Environmental justice, Appalachia, MTR, mortality, poverty

Purpose:  This study investigates the association between poverty rates, MTR, and age-adjusted mortality rates.

Important Finding:  Hendryx found that MTR areas had significantly higher mortality rates, total poverty rates and child poverty rates every year as compared to other counties.  The author concludes that people living in MTR areas experience persistently elevated poverty and mortality rates and that efforts to reduce these disparities must focus on the Appalachian coalfields.

Significant Quote:  “The results show that not all areas of Appalachia experience the same health disparities.  Disparities are concentrated in the portion of central Appalachia where MTM occurs.”

Results:  403 counties were included in the analysis.  37 counties had MTR, 44 had other mining, and 322 were non mining counties.  Poverty and mortality rates in the MTR areas were significantly higher in every year (2000-2007) as compared to other areas.  This tudy establishes the “simple fact” that MTR areas have higher poverty.  Thus, residents of these areas are faced with the combined risks of environmental hazards from MTR as well as increased poverty.    

 

Hendryx, M.  (2011) “Poverty and Mortality Disparities in Central Appalachia: Mountaintop Mining and Environmental Justice.” Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice: Vol 4 (3) pp 44-53.