Yet Another Study On Mountaintop Removal, This One LINKING Mountaintop Removal Dust To CANCER

Oct 16, 2014

Appalachian Mountaintop Mining Particulate Matter Induces Neoplastic Transformation of Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells and Promotes Tumor Formation

Sudjit Luanpitpong , Michael Chen , Travis Knuckles , Sijin Wen , Juhua Luo , Emily Ellis , Michael Hendryx , and Yon Rojanasakul



Epidemiological studies suggest that living near mountaintop coal mining (MTM) activities is one of the contributing factors for high lung cancer incidence. The purpose of this study was to investigate the long-term carcinogenic potential of MTM particulate matter (PMMTM) exposure on human bronchial epithelial cells. Our results show that chronic exposure (3 months) to non-cytotoxic, physiological relevant concentration (1 μg/mL) of PMMTM, but not control particle PMCON, induced neoplastic transformation, accelerated cell proliferation and enhanced cell migration of the exposed lung cells. Xenograft transplantation of the PMMTM-exposed cells in mice caused no apparent tumor formation, but promoted tumor growth of human lung carcinoma H460 cells, suggesting the tumor promoting effect of PMMTM. Chronic exposure to the main inorganic chemical constituent of PMMTM, molybdenum but not silica, similarly induced cell transformation and tumor promotion, suggesting the contribution of molybdenum, at least in part, in the PMMTM effects. These results provide new evidence for the carcinogenic potential of PMMTM and support further risk assessment and implementation of exposure control for PMMTM.


Here is also a story from the Charleston Gazette reporter Ken Ward