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Health Agencies Update
May 28, 2014

Free Respiratory Health Screenings Offered to Coal Miners

JAMA. 2014;311(20):2057. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.5420

Rising rates of “black lung” among coal miners have prompted the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to offer a series of free health screenings.

Exposure to coal dust increases the risk of developing coal worker’s pneumoconiosis, a condition also called “black lung.” This condition can be prevented with the use of protective gear, routine screening, and other measures. Such efforts helped reduce the prevalence of black lung among miners between the 1970s and 1990s, according to NIOSH. But recent years have shown a new increase in the number of miners with black lung.

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