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Federal Dust Fraud Charges Highlight Black Lung Threat For Miners

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When former coal mine employees in western Kentucky faced arraignment Wednesday on federal charges that they conspired to falsify the required monitoring of coal dust, the hearing brought renewed attention to the region’s surge in black lung disease. The case highlights the many challenges miners face in the workplace. And health officials in black lung clinics… Read More

Region’s Black Lung Rates Highest In 25 Years

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A new study by federal health officials finds the recent surge in cases of black lung disease is especially concentrated among coal miners in central Appalachia. Researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health say the rate of black lung disease among experienced miners in central Appalachia is the highest they have seen in a quarter century…. Read More

National Academy Report Urges Stronger Coal Dust Monitoring Amid Black Lung Surge

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A new report from the National Academy of Sciences says the coal mining industry needs a “fundamental shift” in the way it controls exposure to coal and rock dust in order to prevent lung disease among miners. Despite improvements such as an Obama-era rule to strengthen monitoring and control of dust in mines, the experts on the… Read More

Black Lung Benefits Fund in Deepening Debt as Epidemic Surges

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A new study from the Government Accountability Office finds that the federal fund supporting coal miners with black lung disease could be in financial trouble without congressional action. As NPR has reported, the GAO found that the fund’s debt could rise dramatically at the same time that black lung disease is surging. Most federal benefits… Read More

Lung Transplants Rise Amid Region’s Black Lung Epidemic

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The Appalachian coalfields are in the midst of an epidemic of severe black lung disease. The debilitating and even deadly disease has recently begun to affect miners as young as 30. Dust from coal mines has scarred these miners’ lungs, so little of the air they breathe gets absorbed. In central Appalachia, researchers say, one… Read More

Living With Black Lung: Coal Miners Caught In A Surging Epidemic

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The central Appalachian coalfields are in the middle of an unprecedented epidemic of severe black lung disease. In a recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association federal researchers released the results of a study conducted at just three black lung clinics. The study confirmed 416 cases of the most severe form of black lung… Read More

Mine Health Expert Concerned About Review Of Coal Dust Rule

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The Trump administration’s Office of Management and Budget has announced a review of an Obama-era rule that protects coal miners from exposure to the dust that causes black lung disease. That has some health and safety advocates concerned. The review comes amid a tide of regulatory rollbacks by the Trump administration and at a time that black… Read More