The poet speculated that frozen soil, or perhaps elves, were to blame for the upset stones he encountered on his walk. Recently, however, I've concluded that the biggest threat to old stone walls is people. This is especially true of people who work for landscaping businesses that function as cultural strip-mining operations, soliciting the sale of stone walls from old farmsteads and then carting away the past. One such company mined a acre farm in Lisbon earlier this year.
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Chapter 2: The Environmental Effects of Strip Mining - The Strip Mining Handbook
Mining continues to be a dangerous activity, whether large-scale industrial mining or small-scale artisanal mining. Not only are there accidents, but exposure to dust and toxins, along with stress from the working environment or managerial pressures, give rise to a range of diseases that affect miners. I look at mining and health from various personal perspectives: that of the ordinary man much of life depends on mined elements in the house, car and phone ; as a member of the Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health environmental contamination and degradation leads to ill health in nearby communities ; as a public health doctor mining health is affected by many factors, usually acting in a mix, ranging from individual inheritance—genetic makeup, sex, age; personal choices—diet, lifestyle; living conditions—employment, war; social support—family, local community; environmental conditions—education, work; to national and international constraints—trade, economy, natural world ; as a volunteer mining health costs are not restricted to miners or industry but borne by everyone who partakes of mining benefits—all of us ; and as a lay preacher the current global economy concentrates on profit at the expense of the health of miners. Partnership working by academics with communities, government and industry should develop evidence-based solutions. Employment, health, economic stability and environmental protection need not be mutually exclusive. We all need to act. I have spent many years working at the interface between the environment, both natural and built, and health, in both general medical family practice and in community-focussed public health practice e.
The devastating environmental impacts of mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia have long been well documented. But over the last decade, Indiana University researcher Michael Hendryx has been examining another consequence of this form of coal surface mining that had previously been overlooked: the health impacts on the people in the surrounding communities. What he has found, Hendryx says, is a public health disaster, with more than a thousand extra deaths each year in areas of Appalachia where mountaintop removal MTR operations take place. The air and water pollution caused by this mining practice, which involves deforesting and tearing off mountaintops to get at the coal, is leading to increases in cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, pulmonary disease, and birth defects, his research shows.
The dust and particles from mining roads, stockpiles, and lands disturbed by mining are a significant source of air pollution. This section describes the five main types of surface coal mining techniques: area mining, open pit mining, contour mining, auger mining , and mountaintop removal. Underground mining is also considered in this section.