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WASHINGTON -- Last year, Indiana University researcher Michael Hendryx published the latest in a series of studies he’s done concluding people living near mountaintop coal mining sites are sicker than those residing elsewhere in Appalachia.

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"We need to keep it open so we have jobs." Those are the words of a retired miner, explaining why the local mining operation is so important to his community. But he wasn't talking about a coal mine in Appalachia. He was referring to a local asbestos mine - in Russia.