New section of CRMW website focuses on public health and MTR
Check out Coal River Mountain Watch's new section entitled "The Health Impacts of Mountaintop Removal and Coal Mining." The new health guide on Coal River Mountain Watch's website includes a list of the peer reviewed research that has been conducted on the impacts of MTR and coal mining in general on public health in local communities. Six of the studies are specific to mountaintop removal. This guide was developed by Aurora Lights' own Jen Osha, who is also Project Director at Coal River Mountain Watch. These studies, conducted from 2007 to 2011, provide evidence that human health problems such as heart, respiratory and kidney diseases, cancer, low birth weight and serious birth defects are significantly higher in communities near mountaintop removal mine sites.
In addition to listing the studies, the new public health guide provides information about the findings of each of these studies in an easy to read format. Each page includes a summary of the purpose, important findings, and results of each study. For readers who want to learn more, a link to the entire paper is provided. Additionally, on the right sidebar are pictures and quotes from Coal River residents that relate to the specific study page.
These summaries are linked to a new mapping tool developed by Appalachian Voices for ilovemountains.org that uses scientific evidence and government data to graphically show the human casualties of mountaintop removal coal mining. The new tool was released in conjunction with the annual I Love Mountains Day in Frankfurt, KY, where citizens gathered to advocate an end to mountaintop removal coal mining, a destructive practice that has shortened lifespans and caused illnesses in Central Appalachia for decades.
"It is important to realize that birth defects for babies born in [areas impacted by] mountaintop removal are over twice as high than if the mother smokes during pregnancy, and over 10 times as high for circulatory/ respiratory defects," said Vernon Haltom from Coal River Mountain Watch.
ILoveMountains.org is a project of The Alliance for Appalachia, which is made up of thirteen local, state and regional organizations across Appalachia, including Coal River Mountain Watch, working together to end mountaintop removal and create a prosperous future for the region.
To view the summaries of the studies, click here.
To view the mapping tool on "The Human Cost of Coal," visit iLoveMountains.org/the-human-cost