Dangers of Coal Mining Black Lung

Better Essays
Black Lung

Many miners lose their lives each year, not just to accidents at mines, but also to the greatest threat to American miners: black lung disease (also known as Coal Worker 's pneumoconiosis). Black lung is a disabling occupational lung disease caused by inhalation of excessive levels of respirable coal mine dust. The risk or the possibility of contracting the condition increases with continued exposure to coal mine dust. Chances are also raised in people over the age of 50. Even when preventive measures are taken, such as wearing a mask, it cannot prevent coal dust from entering the lungs. This has plagued coal miners for decades, “cases of black lung really began to decline in underground coal miners as part of the regulations that came about from the 1969 Coal Act, but over the past 5 to 10 years the cases of black lung have been on the rise” Mike Hockenberry (Mechanical Engineer MSHA). According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has reported that 9 percent of miners who worked in mines for at least 25 years tested positive for black lung in 2005 and 2006, a figure that more than doubled over 10 years. The federal government has paid out more than $44 billion in compensation for miners totally disabled by black lung since 1970, according to the Labor Department’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs. All told, more than 10,000 miners have died of black lung in the past decade, according to federal government. Deaths from this painful disease don’t have the sudden, devastating impact or bring the media attention that mine explosions generate, black lung has sadly gotten less attention than it deserves.
The safety issues and symptoms of black lung are very important to me because I have an uncle who was diagnosed with black lung a few years ago. Over the last few years I’ve seen what black lung has done to him and how it’s changed his life dramatically. He was never educated or trained on ways to help prevent breathing



Bibliography: Corcoran, Maureen T. Taking On Black Lung. N.p., 18 Oct. 2010. Web. 18 Oct. 2010. . Corcoran, Patrick. Mining Regulators Set Ambitious Goal: Ending Black Lung. N.p., 18 Oct. 2010. Web. 18 Oct. 2010. . Fears, Niki. Death by Coal: Safety and Health Issues The Coal Business Does Not Tell You About . Ed. Niki Fears. N.p., 28 Mar. 2010. Web. 17 Oct. 2010. < http://www.brighthub.com/environment/science-environmental/articles/10066.aspx>. Jorgensen, Amy. Black Lung Effects. N.p., 21 Sept. 2009. Web. 18 Oct. 2010. . Vita, Tony D. Black Lung Disease: Coalworker 's Pneumoconiosis. N.p., 13 July 2010. Web. 17 Oct. 2010. .

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Dangers of Coal Mining

    • 907 Words
    • 4 Pages

    mind when you think of coal mining? If you're like me, coal mining means living in darkness and a cold hearted industry. Other words that come to mind are poverty and oppression. Coal mining is not a job that you dream about or get a degree for. People who are coal miners do not chose a life full of danger and repression, they get stuck with it. There are many dangers that come along with coal mining, not only for the workers, but for the environment. Coal mining and the coal industry have caused…

    • 907 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Coal Mining

    • 543 Words
    • 3 Pages

    conveyor belt transportation system. Some comments regarding possible ways for detection of mentioned faults are considered. The examples of failures and time related to replacement or repair have been provided. 1. INTRODUCTION Condition monitoring in mining industry is not as well developed as it is in other branches (i.e. power engineering, oil industry etc). One of the reasons is that mine is the specific kind of company with harsh environment and dissipation of assets in wide area. There are a lot…

    • 543 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Essay On Coal Mining

    • 688 Words
    • 3 Pages

    The goal of coal mining is to obtain coal from the ground. Coal is valued for its energy content, and, since the 1880s, has been widely used to generate electricity. Steel and cement industries use coal as a fuel for extraction of iron from iron ore and for cement production. In the United States, United Kingdom, and South Africa, a coal mine and its structures are a colliery. In Australia, "colliery" generally refers to an underground coal mine. Coal mining has had many developments over the recent…

    • 688 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Black Lung

    • 2559 Words
    • 11 Pages

    The black lung movement was a movement formed in the late 1960’s in which the miners fought for the health benefits to cover black lung disease. Black lung is directly caused by mining and working with coal. Mildred Mullins wrote this poem and hung it on the coffin of her dead husband in the Capital to display what was going on, “Compensation we are asking,
While alive and still gasping;
When life is o’er and hymns are sung,
Then they’ll know we have black lung.( “Charleston Gazette” 15)” The miners…

    • 2559 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Coal Mining Act

    • 1114 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 – Safety Issues The UMWA, though unsuccessful in including its high-risk population in the reform movement, led to the signing of the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act, often called the “Coal Act”, under President Richard Nixon’s administration. This act acknowledged that coal mining placed workers in dangerous situations, and that it was the nation’s responsibility to prevent the death and serious injury of coal miners. Under this act, extended…

    • 1114 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Coal Mining Papers

    • 749 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Coal Mining Coal mining is taking coal out of the earth for use as fuel, and there are two types of it: surface and mountaintop mining and underground mining. Coal is one of the most important resources because of its ability to be a fuel. Surface mining is used when the coal is near the surface, and a process known as strip mining extracts it; this is literally tearing a strip out of the earth to expose the coal. This is a highly controversial method though because by taking so many strips…

    • 749 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Do you think coal mining is worth the risk? Coal mining is worth the work because of what we get out of it. We get electricity out of it, we get jobs out of it (mining jobs) but everything good always has a bad side, we get health hazards like black lung disease. I think that coal mining is useful because of all the things above other than the bad one of course, otherwise everything is nice about it. You get jobs, it costs a small amount for a large amount of it, and you get electricity out of it…

    • 278 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    black lungs

    • 1215 Words
    • 5 Pages

    America 85% of the teenage population first start smoking around the ages of fifteen and sixteen, and they soon find out smoking tobacco is incredibly addicting. Smoking causes heart diseases, higher blood pressure, multiple deadly cancers such as, lung cancer, mouth cancer and throat cancer. Many of my relatives have succumbed to some sort of terrible effect from smoking, and I myself was once a smoker until I discovered the complications it had with my heart along with cigarettes claiming the life…

    • 1215 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Best Essays

    The Dangers of Mining Industry in the Philippines A Term Paper Presented to Mrs. Lorna Caponong Department of English CASS, MSU-IIT In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for ENGLISH 2 (Writing in Discipline) Second Semester, SY 2010-2011 by Charissa L. Abingosa Sittie Joharah Alulong Maria Reziel E. Cortes Jeff de Jesus March 15, 2012 TOPIC OUTLINE I. Introduction II. Mining Industry in the Philippines A. Brief History of Mining in the Philippines B. Scales of Mining Operations…

    • 4065 Words
    • 17 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES OF COAL MINING INTRODUCTION Coal is the most abundant fuel resource in India. It is the prime source of energy and perhaps the largest contributor to the industrial growth of the country. It is a crucial and enduring element in a modern, balanced energy portfolio, providing a bridge to the future as an important low cost and secure energy solution to sustainability challenges. Some important facts about coal industry in India are as follows: •India is…

    • 1722 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays