July 12, 2021 - NIOSH has planned a series of free, confidential health screenings for current and former coal miners via the agency’s Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program.
From Sept. 9 to 24, NIOSH mobile testing units are set to visit mining sites and public areas in southern West Virginia to screen for early detection of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis – a deadly but preventable condition commonly known as black lung. The condition is caused by exposure to respirable coal mine dust.
NIOSH outlines multiple benefits of the screenings, touting them as an easy method for checking miners’ health that provides a confidential report on whether X-ray evidence of black lung is present.
“Black lung disease can occur in miners who work in mines of all sizes,” NIOSH Director John Howard said in a press release. “Early detection of black lung disease allows underground, surface and contract miners to take the steps needed to keep it from progressing to severe lung disease.”