By KATE MISHKIN
CHARLESTON, W.Va. A study published last week points to a link between coal miners with black lung disease and their unsafe work environments.
The study, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, looked at workplace practices by talking to 19 former coal miners at a federally-funded black lung clinic in Virginia.
Each miner had progressive massive fibrosis, which is caused by inhaling coal mine dust and is incurable and potentially fatal. It’s also the most severe form of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, or black lung disease. By conducting “semi-structured interviews” with the miners, NIOSH and the the clinic were able to pull together a “case series” that sheds light on a lackadaisical attitude toward miners’ safety.
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