Monday, April 11, 2011

Study shows black-lung rates are increasing – not decreasing, as Sen. Rand Paul claimed

A new study refutes U.S. Sen. Rand Paul's recent statement that the coal industry has done well in reducing black-lung rates. The study from West Virginia University researchers, to be published in the peer-reviewed journal Chest, concludes "Contemporary occupational dust exposures have resulted over the last decade in rapidly progressive pneumoconiosis and massive fibrosis in relatively young West Virginia coal miners, leading to important lung dysfunction and premature death," Ken Ward Jr. of The Charleston Gazette reports on his blog Coal Tattoo.

Contrary to the Kentucky Republican's statement, the research means "Coal miners who are working in dust levels that are currently legal in this country are contracting and dying from serious lung diseases caused by their exposure to those legal levels of coal dust," Ward writes. Edward Petsonk, one of the study's authors, said at Wheeling Jesuit University's annual International Mining Health and Safety Symposium, "It’s still happening. There is a problem with miners’ health, and it is a current problem. This is no longer something that we can just sit on our hands about." (Read more)
National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health chart of black-lung incidence rates:

1 comment:

iolite said...

I think I also agree with you. Most of the time the lung cancer is increasing be the more usage of the smoking. And the black lung rates are increasing and are not decreasing.