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Word Count: 933
From the late 1800s to the early 1900s child labor in coal mines was highly popular These children known as Breaker Boys worked long hours in terrible conditions for little pay and at a high risk of injury and sickness The boys most between the ages of 8 and 12 worked 12-hour days for as little as 60 cents per day Working in the mines for these boys was a necessity since their fathers often did not did not earn enough money to feed the family Few outside the mining community knew of the horrors of child labor and even fewer still cared enough to attempt to change conditions These attempts were quickly silenced by the powerful coal companies The miners themselves could do very little for risk of being firedThe Breaker Boys separated impurities such as slate from the coal and separated the coal by size The breakers in which they worked were not heated so that in winter it was necessary to wear coat hats and scarves They could not wear gloves because they relied on touch to differentiate the slate from coal There was no ventilation in the breaker causing copious amounts of coal dust to build up and linger in the air Breathing coal dust gave the child laborers many ailments such as tuberculosis and bronchitisThe boys spent many hours perched on narrow wooden seats over conveyor belts picking out pieces of slate and other rock from the coal Spending long hours in this cramped position contributed to various ailments such as curvature shoulders and spine and stunted growth Earning little pay and working long hours left them with little food causing them to be chronically underweight Also the long hours created a high accident rate Many accidents that occurred were injuries to the hands such as broken fingers Children who worked in the breakers rarely
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