Mine or Yours?

As the mines developed, so did the safety risks involved with them. The mines needed to be researched and understood better than they were to ensure efficient and safe mining. The biggest issue to tackle was breathing. Humans couldn’t survive in these deep, subterranean tunnels, and subsequently suffocated. The solution was a breathing apparatus that would both supply and recycle oxygen, giving miners a one to two-hour window to be in the mines. The risk of death was still present however, as the face masks and air tanks were clunky and could slip off workers faces, or tubes could unseal and let in CO2. As the technology improved however, the air quality of the mine was the least of the workers worries. The helmets and masks became streamlined and easy to use and the technology began to shape things such as the scuba tanks of today. As mining became faster and easier, new problems arose. Worker unions rose up and began to demand more compensation and safety measures in the mine. Fires were more easily dealt with thanks to the breathing apparatuses but became more prevalent with the introduction of copper wiring and lifts in the shafts. Each new development brings rise to new problems that need solving.

The negative impacts of mines are huge. They’re dangerous, costly, and cause longstanding problems long after mining has stopped. In my opinion the negative aspects should be considered all throughout the mining process. Questions like “should we dig here?” and “should we continue mining operations here?” could save both human lives and the environment. I think that mining is very important for humans, mostly because of this technological revolution we live in. The precious minerals used in our phones, laptops, televisions and other tech are an essential thing to make these luxuries. I think humans will overcome this challenge just as they have others, but that begs the question, what other problems will arise because of it?