canary in a coal mine

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canary in a coal mine2016-12-08T17:37:53+00:00

canary in a coal mine

canary in a coal mine image from New Medical Terms

coal miner with canary


A sentinel animal once carried by coal miners as an early warning of methane and other explosive or toxic gases, based on canaries’ unique susceptibility to the adverse effects of such gases.


A popular phrase for any tool used to flag a specific and potentially dangerous situation before it causes injury or death in a susceptible group of individuals. 

Synonym Canary, miner’s canary 


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