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The canary in the coal mine

In the early days of coal mining explosions and suffocation were common place and deadly hazards.

After many deaths and much research John Scott Haldane - a noted researcher into carbon monoxide recommended that a "sentinel species" be taken into the pit workings to detect poisonous gases before the level of concentration became deadly to humans

Canaries, due to their unique breathing mechanism were found to be significantly more sensitive to carbon monoxide (CO) than most other animals. Miners started taking canaries into the mines with them and used them to as an early warning signal of the build up of deadly toxic gasses. Too much CO and the Canary would stop singing, too much more and it would die prompting an evacuation until air pumps could increase oxygen levels.

Sensitives are early indicators of problems

If your business is the mine,

Who are the canaries?

What's the toxin they react to?

What are you doing to observe their behaviour as an early indicator of possible problems?

How do you deal with the toxins effectively?

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