Pollution from coal mining may have a negative impact on public health in mining communities according to data analysed in a West Virginia (USA) University research study.
Residents of coal-mining communities are at an increased risk of developing chronic heart, lung and kidney diseases.
Researchers tried to find out whether there is a relationship between coal production and forms of cardiovascular, lung and kidney disease in the state.
They predict that as coal production increases, so does the incidence of chronic illness.
Data collected in the study showed that people in coal mining communities have a 64 per cent increased risk for developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and are 30 per cent more likely to report high blood pressure (hypertension).