NIOSH: Black Lung Continues to Increase Among US Coal Miners
“Breathing coal mine dust is the sole cause of black lung, and it is entirely preventable,” said David Blackley, epidemiologist for the Center for Disease Control (CDC). “This study provides further evidence that effective dust control methods and protections to reduce coal mine dust exposure along with early detection of the disease are essential to protect miners’ health.”
Since 2000, nationwide prevalence of black lung has increased. Prior to that in the late 1990s, researchers had found that it has reached its lowest levels.
To combat this unsettling trend, NIOSH continues to work to define the scope of the problem, improve methods to detect and control dust, and bring medical screening like periodic chest x-rays to those most affected regions of the country.