Existing coal mining health literature has not adequately addressed the health of women and girls who reside (and perform reproductive labor) within the households of male coal miners exposed to coal dust and other coal toxins. This study compares archival data on the health at the time of death for coal miners’ wives and non-coal miners’ wives to determine if there are statistical differences between these groups of women. Findings indicate that there is a statistical difference between these groups of women in age at death, with wives of miners dying 7 years earlier, on average. It also indicates that women providing reproductive labor within a mining household are at a higher risk of particular health conditions—some that have been acknowledged in the existing literature and some that have not. These findings are especially important given the deadly resurgence of black lung in Appalachia.

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