Voices from the Field

Health and Environmental Effects of Mining Daniel Mendoza

Mining is a taxing and stressful occupation, usually undertaken in cramped quarters, exposed to multiple toxins, over long periods of time, and irregular shifts. These factors contribute to substantial negative health effects – both physically and mentally. Since mining is a predominantly male-dominated field (approximately 85% of mine workers are male) health effects of mining has been primarily studied in males resulting in significant knowledge gaps. Mining has substantial negative impacts on the environment. In addition to direct and visible effects, such as deforestation and destruction of ecosystems, downstream effects of toxins being released into the air, waterways, and food chain are important considerations. Furthermore, while many of these effects are persistent and predictable, mining disasters are sudden and have cost the lives of thousands of individuals and communities. However, our voracious appetite for energy and technology has made mining a necessary activity. While many steps are being taken to improve safety and reduce negative impacts of mining, much work still needs to be done.

Health Impacts Associated with Mining

Environmental Impacts of Mining

More about Daniel Mendoza

Dr. Daniel Mendoza is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences and holds joint appointments as Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Division, Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of City & Metropolitan Planning, and the NEXUS research institute at the University of Utah. His research interests include quantifying and characterizing urban greenhouse gas and criteria pollutant emissions for use in human exposure estimation and development. He also examines the health effects associated with acute and chronic pollutant exposure, particularly in vulnerable populations. By combining expertise in air pollution, health outcomes, and urban planning, his work aims to produce enactable scientific and policy solutions to address air quality concerns in a just and equitable manner. He is the co-director of the Consortium for Dark Sky Studies, serves as Editor in Chief of the Journal of Dark Sky Studies, and is an instructor in the Capstone Class on Dark Sky Studies at the University of Utah.

1 Mental Health and Mining
2 Guide to Men's Reproductive Health in the Mining Workplace
3 Health Impacts of Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining
4 Causes and Effects of Mining on Human Health and the Environment
5 Health Effects of Mining
6 Whiteman, C. David, and Sebastian W. Hoch. "Pseudovertical temperature profiles in a broad valley from lines of temperature sensors on sidewalls." Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology 53.11 (2014): 2430-2437.