Coal Mining Essays

Coal Mining And Its Impacts Essay

Coal Mining and Its Impacts

Coal is a hard, black colored rock-like substance. It is made up of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and varying amount of sulphur. Coal was form as decomposition took place in the absence of oxygen and much of the hydrogen content of the matter was eroded away, leaving a material rich in carbon. The material was compressed over the years by sand and dirt, leaving the form of a carbon known as coal. The different types of coals are Anthracite, bituminous, lignite, peat, coke, and charcoal. Coal is mined out of the ground and used to produce energy. However, they are many deaths, injuries, and sickness involved in mining coal.

The earliest known use of coal was in China. Coal from the Fun-Shun mine in northeastern China may have been used to smelt copper as early as 3,000 years ago. Since then there have been several deaths and injuries in mining coal. “In 1966, an unstable waste tip from the Merthyr Vale mine in Wales released an avalanche of sludge over the village of Aberfan, engulfing not only houses but the primary school, killing 114 children”( Boyle, Everett, & Ramage p. 165). In Britain in the mid-nineteenth century it was estimated that one in every miners would face a fatal accident before completing their mining career. “1913 saw Britain’s worst mining disaster, with 439 miners killed in an explosion at the Senghenydd mine in Walse”( Boyle, Everett, & Ramage p. 165).

It is important to note that the work of a coal miner is one of the most dangerous occupations in the world. The life expectancy of a miner is very low. Mining coal involves going underground to remove coal on to conveyor belts. The deeper the miners go the higher the potential for a disaster becomes. “In every year from 1900 to 1945 more than 1,000 coal miners were killed in mining accidents” (Energy Matters). I strongly believe that people should be educated about the December, 1907 3,000 coal mining deaths. In 2001 there were 42 coal mining deaths. All these deaths meant wives loosing husbands and sons. These deaths cause the lost of the bread winners in many house-holds; which, would later add to poverty and single parents.

Lung disease and accidents have always led to high rates of death or disability amongst miners. The lung diseases that affect miners are called pneumoconiosis or black lung. Coal worker’s pneumoconiosis can be defined as the accumulation of coal dust in the lungs and the tissue’s. “Inhaled coal dust enters the terminal bronchioles, and the carbon pigment is engulfed by alveolar and interstitial macrophages. Phagocytes coal particles are transported by macrophages up the mucociliary elevator and are expelled in the mucus or through the lymphatic system” (Pneumoconiosis in China).

They were 310, 000 cases of pneumoconiosis disease in China. The cost of treating the disease was 5 billion. “In 1992 in Shanghai they were 108 cases of pneumoconiosis reported” (Pneumoconiosis in...

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Coal Mining Essay

Coal mining has been around for decades since the 1800s and coal has been powering our lights even till today. The documentary called, "Burning the future: Coal in America" presented a lot of vital information about how the coal industries work and how coal helps the nation stay lit. Countries that build the world's biggest coal plants are the United States, China and India. The states that practice coal mining are Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. Coal power plants emissions contain many elements and compounds including sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide and other elements including one of the largest sources which are carbon dioxide. Burning the future discusses the many factors that cause devastating outcomes. Mountain top removal and strip mining is a process to obtain the coal and procedure has been practiced for many years in America. Coal supplies more than half of the energy for America and in the documentary, Ed Hopkins who is a director of environmental Quality in the sierra club states that, "Coal supplies more than half of the energy right now, we are going to rely on coal in the near future there is no way around that". Coal supplies may be the only energy that can produce half of the nation's electricity but there are other alternatives that can replace coal.

The process in coal mining is basically mountain top removal. Mountain top removals consist of about five steps. The first step in mountain top removal is forest are cleared-cut and in this process miners must destroy wild life habitat and also using explosives to get deep into the core of the mountain top to obtain the coal seam. The second process is using huge shovels to dig into the soil and trucks that haul away the remains and push it into the valleys. The third process is to dig into the rock and expose the coal. Coal industries have machines that weigh nearly eight million and these big machines are operated by mine workers. These machines can tear up a mountain in a year and these coal industries make a lot of money because they provide electricity for people like us. The fourth process is when the machines gather a large layer of coal, dumping them on the adjacent valleys which creates valley fills. The last process is basically coal industries are usually supposed to reclaim the land but usually they leave the area bare. Although majority of the industries replant vegetation in reality the mountain will never return to its original state and this can cause many issues to the people in the area and also around the world. Mountain top generates a huge amount of waste because coal must be burned and it generates a lot of liquid waste which forms into slur. It contains carcinogenic compounds and toxic heavy metals and the slur is stored in large areas of water that sometimes can leak or break and the outcome is floods and water contamination.

Coal mining contributes...

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