Canaries breathe easy, as gadgets enter mines

With the advent of a range of portable electronic toxic gas detectors, the canaries are now set free and relieved from the dangerous job that they had been doing in the coalmines of the Kothagudem region of Singareni

  • Collieries Company Ltd. With the company introducing state-of-the-art handheld gas detectors with sensors and alarm systems for deep excavation, the birds are no longer called in to play the role of an early-warning system for carbon monoxide and other toxic gases in the mines.

Why Canaries were used?

  • The rapid breathing rate, small size and high metabolism of the canaries make them die before miners do on inhaling toxic gases. The men can then be quickly evacuated. The canaries used to be carried in cages and miners had to look for distress signs in the birds.

Controversy:

Animal rights activists have been raising objections to the use of the birds. Canaries have become a fast dwindling species now.

Sources: The Hindu.

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