canaries in a coal mine
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- plural of
- 2006, Steve Fennessy, "Frog Man", Atlanta Magazine, July 2006:
- One of the few animals to live part of its life in water and part on land, frogs are seen by some as canaries in a coal mine — which is why the chytrid fungus has environmentalists worried.
- 2009, Patricia K. Smith, Obesity Among Poor Americans: Is Public Assistance the Problem?, Vanderbilt University Press, →ISBN, page 13:
- Perhaps public assistance has little to do with obesity among the poor; instead, the poor may simply be canaries in a coal mine, their health suffering from environmental changes before others feel the impact.