mtr_ky.jpgOf every 100,000 babies born, number who suffer from birth defects in areas of Appalachia where coal is mined by mountaintop removal, in which ammonium nitrate fuel oil explosives are used to expose coal seams: 235

In non-mining areas: 144

Percent higher risk of having a baby with a birth defect for mothers who smoked during pregnancy compared to non-smoking mothers: 17

Percent higher risk of having a baby with a birth defect for mothers living in mountaintop removal areas compared to mothers living in non-mining areas: 42

Percent that a mother's smoking increases the risk that her baby will be born with defects of the circulatory or respiratory system: 17

Percent that a mother's living in a mountaintop removal mining area increases the risk of such defects: 181

Number of birth defects with rates significantly higher near mountaintop removal mining sites: 6*

Additional number of unhealthy days per year experienced by residents of mountaintop removal mining counties compared to non-mining areas: 18

Number of years that amounts to over an average American lifetime: almost 4

Date on which a law firm representing the National Mining Association (NMA) posted an analysis faulting the study looking at mountaintop removal and birth defects for failing to account for "consanguinity" (i.e., inbreeding): 6/28/2011

Date on which the NMA released another critique of the birth defects study based on the commissioned findings of Exponent, a California-based consulting firm that specializes in defending troubled corporations: 7/13/2011

Percent of coal produced in the U.S. by mountaintop removal: 5 to 8

Date on which Appalachian grassroots leaders launched a petition calling for a moratorium on mountaintop removal mining: 7/12/2011

Date on which mountaintop removal mining opponents held an emergency press conference in Washington to draw attention to a bill that would strip the Environmental Protection Agency of the power to regulate the practice: 7/13/2011

Amount in campaign contributions from mining interests to Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), the sponsor of that bill: $142,600

Vote by which that legislation passed the House the same day as the press conference: 239-184

* circulatory/respiratory, central nervous system, musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, urogenital and "other"

(Click on figure to go to source. Photo of a mountaintop removal mining site in Martin County, Ky. by Flashdark via Wikimedia Commons.)