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Report: More should be done in researching, monitoring black lung disease


Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As the rate of black lung disease continues to grow, a study released Thursday says the rules and regulations in place might not be enough.

The study from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, called the “Monitoring and Sampling Approaches to Assess Underground Coal Mine Dust Exposures,” prescribes different ways to protect coal miners from black lung disease.

Black lung, or coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, is caused by inhaling coal dust and can be fatal. Dust exposure has also been linked to lung cancer and emphysema. The report primarily delves into ways to control respirable coal mine dust, or RCMD, which can cause black lung disease when workers are exposed to it. Despite a number of federal regulations starting in 1969, the disease has only increased in the past two decades.

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