249461 Faces of Black Lung

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 12:30 PM

Anita Wolfe , Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, WV
Edward L. Petsonk, MD , Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, WV
Charles Urban , Office of the Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Pittsburgh, PA
In the last decade, over 10,000 miners have died of coal workers' pneumoconiosis, or what is commonly called black lung disease. Black lung disease, which is caused by inhaling coal mine dust, results in scarring of the lungs, emphysema, shortness of breath, disability, and premature death. While the prevalence of black lung disease had decreased by about 90% from 1969 to 1995 following the enactment of the Coal Mine Health and Safety Act, the downward trend of this disease in coal miners has stopped. Since 1995, the prevalence of black lung cases has more than doubled. Many current underground miners (some as young as in their 30s) are developing severe and advanced cases of black lung. Identification of advanced cases among miners under age 50 is of particular concern, as they were exposed to coal-mine dust in the years after implementation of the disease prevention measures mandated by the 1969 federal legislation. An increased risk of pneumoconiosis has also been associated with work in certain mining jobs, in smaller mines, in several geographic areas, and among contract miners.

To continue to raise awareness of the resurgence of this deadly but entirely preventable disease, NIOSH developed this educational DVD titled “Faces of Black Lung”. On this DVD, two miners with severe cases of black lung disease share their stories in hopes of helping to protect other miners from this devastating disease. The moving personal accounts of two lives forever changed by black lung disease provide an invaluable training tool.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe the impact of Black Lung on underground coal miners Identify one way a miner can get black lung Describe the NIOSH Mobile Health Screening Program

Keywords: Workplace Safety, Work-Related Fatalities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I manage the work of the Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program and am subject matter expert on this topic.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.