Sunday, January 13, 2008

3,786 People killed in Chinese coal mines last year

According to the New York Times, the 2007 body count in the Chinese coal mining industry is 3,786. From what I can tell, this number only includes direct fatalities, and not deaths from chronic mining-related disease. It does not include people killed in generating station accidents, killed from respiratory ailments caused by pollution, or people killed anywhere outside of China. But the good news is that this is a 20% decrease from last year, meaning that in the past 2 years, about 8,500 people were killed in coal mine accidents. For comparison, the Chernobyl meltdown killed 56 people outright 22 years ago, and since then there has been another nuclear accident in Japan that killed three people. How the long term cancer risk associated with those accidents compares with coal-related chronic diseases is left as a research project for the reader.

Of course, uranium mining is not completely safe, either. In 2005, an explosion killed a 30 year old man at Olympic Dam.

1 comment:

Chris Phoenix said...

Burning coal puts lots of radioactive material into the air. Not to mention mercury.