NIOSH to Provide Free Black Lung Screenings This August
The confidential screenings are available to all coal miners, current or former.
- By Alex Saurman
- Jul 19, 2022
Coal miners are exposed to multiple hazards on the job, including black lung disease.
In 2012, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) estimated that 7 percent of coal miners had black lung. In 2018, that number was 10 percent.
To help detect black lung early, NIOSH announced it will be providing free black lung screenings this summer.
According to a press release, these confidential screenings will be in mobile units in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia in August 2022. The screenings are open to all coal miners, “current, former, underground, surface, and those under contract,” according to the press release.
Miners will be asked about their work history and will be given a chest x-ray and a blood pressure screening, the press release said. A report on their lung health will be available at the end.
“Black lung disease can occur in miners who work in mines of all sizes,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D., in the press release. “Early detection of black lung disease allows underground, surface and contract miners to take the steps needed to keep it from progressing to severe lung disease.”
Information including dates and times can be found on the Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program (CWHSP) webpage, CWHSP Facebook and the NIOSH Twitter @NIOSHBreathe.
Alex Saurman is the Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety.