The Mountain Eagle
Whitesburg KY

Black lung rule stalled

Action on key federal mine safety and health rules are is lagging, including a rule aimed at lowering exposure to coal dust that causes deadly black lung disease.

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration was expected to issue the final rule in June, but now it won’t be acted on until September.

The Charleston Gazette reports that officials did not state a reason for the delay.

Researchers are urging action on the rule’s enactment because of resurgence in black lung disease. It is being seen among younger Appalachia miners who have worked under current dust limits that were intended to protect them from the disease.

Coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, or black lung, is an irreversible and potentially deadly disease caused by exposure to coal dust. Between 1996 and 2005, nearly 10,000 coal miners nationwide died of black lung.

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