Babies born in West Virginia regions where mountaintop removal mining takes place suffer from higher rates of birth defects than those born in non-mining regions. Mining regions tend to be low-income and deal with the slew of problems correlated with that, but the birth defect rates are higher even when accounting for "socioeconomic disadvantages."

An epidemiologist says that the study "offers one of the first indications that health problems are disproportionately concentrated specifically in [mountaintop removal] areas." That seems sort of incredible: How was this study not done sooner?

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