Earlier this summer some shocking research was published on health risks associated with mountaintop removal coal mining (learn more about this practice). The study looked at 1.9 million live births from 1996 to 2003 in Central Appalachia. Separating births by counties with no mining, mountaintop removal mining, other mining, and, it was found that birth defects were more prevalent in counties with mountaintop removal mining.
After adjusting for other factors that may affect birth defect rates (such as mother’s age, prenatal care, etc.), it was found that birth defects were significantly higher in counties with mountaintop removal mining from both 1996-1999 and 2000-2003. In the later period, from 2000-2003, birth defects in counties with mountaintop removal mining were 42 percent higher.
The effect of mountaintop removal mining on birth defects is even stronger than the effect of a mother smoking during pregnancy. View a fact sheet with more information on this new MTR study from the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition.Read more »