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Last updated 12:00PM ET
August 16, 2018
WOUB Local News
WOUB Local News
New research study shows living near coal mines may harm health
(WOUB) - Living near a coal mine can be hazardous to your health.

At least that's the conclusion of West Virginia University researcher Michael Hendryx.

He says people living in Appalachain
mining communities face higher risk of chronic heart, lung and kidney diseases. And he says they're also more likely to die early.

A study by Hendryx and Washington State University researcher Melissa Ahern found the risk of kidney disease rises 70 percent for residents of West Virginia mining communities.

And they found the risk of emphysema and similar diseases is 64 percent higher, among other things.

Hendryx blames blames smoking, poverty and poor education for much of the problem.

But he says coal mining is a significant
factor as well.

While the study was based on a 2001 poll of West Virginians, Hendryx says information on deaths from other states suggests the problems are found in Appalachia's other coal states of Alabama,
Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Representatives of the West Virginia Coal Association and National Mining Association declined to comment until they review the study.
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