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Coal miners’ black lung disease on rise: Study

coal miners

New research shows that black lung disease is on the rise among modern coal miners.

Coal miners, particularly those in central Appalachia, are more likely than their predecessors to die from pneumoconiosis, progressive massive fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer, according to a recent study from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the University of Illinois Chicago.

Researchers used data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Federal Black Lung Program and is described as “the largest existing study on causes of mortality in U.S. coal miners.”

Researchers cite a 2019 government report holding that while the prevalence of CWP declined for several decades in the latter half of the 20th century, PMF had recently been found “at rates not seen since the early 1970s.”

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