Black Lung Resurgence Drives Push to Protect Coal Miners Against Silica Dust

McROBERTS, Ky. — Like most coal miners’ loved ones, Liz Williams has endured many days and nights of worry. Throughout the four decades her husband, Michael, worked in underground Appalachian mines, Liz was aware of the risks: collapse, explosions, asphyxiation. But black lung — a chronic condition caused by breathing in coal dust — wasn’t on her mind. That’s because the number of miners diagnosed with the often-deadly disease declined for decades, after federal officials introduced regulations more than 50 years ago. But no more. The numbers have climbed precipitously as mining techniques have evolved to extract increasingly hard-to-reach coal ...

Read the full post at Syndicate – Kaiser Health News
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