Coal miners face growing wave of black lung disease

The deadliest form of black lung disease is on the rise among American coal miners, a new study finds.

Increases in cases of progressive massive fibrosis, or PMF, are occurring despite measures to control coal dust that were put into place decades ago.

The finding stems from an analysis of U.S. Department of Labor data on former coal miners who applied for benefits from the Federal Black Lung Program between its start in 1970 and 2016. The program's launch coincided with use of modern dust control measures.

Over 46 years, more than 4,600 coal miners were diagnosed with black lung. Half of the cases occurred since 2000, the data showed.



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