On account of lack of employment after the South African War, quite a number of miners from the Transvaal returned to England. Many of these were broken down in health. Their cases were studied by Thomas Oliver,1 who emphasized the fact that dyspnea was the chief symptom. He noted, too, that most of these men died under 40 and urged that steps be taken to avert the loss of so many lives in the mining industry. His urgent plea was not futile. British medical literature affords striking evidence of the thoroughness with which the situation has been handled.
In America the health hazards of metal miners have not received the attention accorded other dangerous trades. According to Lanza2 the life expectancy of a metal miner, from the time he commences hard rock mining and including one year of disability immediately preceding his death, is but 9.6 years.
LAWSON GB, JACKSON WP, GARDNER JE. PNEUMONOCONIOSIS IN IRON MINERS. JAMA. 1931;96(14):1129–1131. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02720400027008
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