|In January 2006 the Appalachian Institute of
Wheeling Jesuit University inaugurated a photographic exhibit
documenting coal community health issues over the last 60 years.
Recent multiple mine tragedies in West Virginia have dramatically
highlighted the life-threatening mine conditions. But there
is a long history of concern for health in coal communities.
In 1946, the United Mine Workers of America threatened to strike
coal producers, in part to obtain better safety and health conditions.
Because this threatened to destabilize the economy, President
Truman seized the mines to insure continued production. He then
assigned a naval medical survey team, headed by Rear Admiral
Joel T. Boone, to collect data and to document health conditions
in coal mining areas. This online version of the Appalachian
Institute exhibit allows people all over the world to compare
life in coal communities in 1946, recorded in the Boone report,
with today's conditions, captured by photojournalist Earl Dotter.
Coal Mining Fatalities and Injuries
Coal Miner's Lung Health
Coalfield Health Clinics
Coalfield Nutrition Issues
West Virginia Healthy People 2010
Coalfield Roadblocks to Health
Coalfield Housing Issues
Coalfield Water Quality
Coalfield Health Gains and Challenges
About the Clifford M. Lewis, S.J. Appalachian Institute
Photographer's Statement from Earl Dotter
Primary Exhibit Data Sources
To learn more about the Sago Mine disaster, and other mine related
issues visit the United
Mine Workers of America, International
Coal Group, and the Mine
Safety and Health Administration web sites. To find out how
to make a donation to the Sago Mine Fund, visit the WV
Council of Churches web site.