|NPR chart by Vanessa Qian|
"We can think of no other industry or workplace in the United States in which this would be considered acceptable," NIOSH epidemiologist Cara Halldin and her colleagues wrote in the American Journal of Public Health.
“The study's researchers reviewed nearly 50 years of coal miner X-rays taken as part of a national NIOSH effort to identify disease among working coal miners. They compared the last five years of X-rays with those taken earlier,” Howard Berkes reports for NPR. “In addition to the heightened rates of disease, the study found that the most severe form of disease – progressive massive fibrosis – now occurs in 5 percent of veteran miners in the region, the highest rate ever recorded.”