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     vol. 70/no. 34           september 11, 2006       black lung disease affecting younger miners (front page)   by salm kolis  harlan, kentucky—a study released by the national institute for occupational safety and health (niosh) shows that despite an overall decline in cases of black lung, coal miners are contracting the disease at a younger age. The report identifies 22 counties in pennsylvania, kentucky, virginia, and west virginia as “hot spots. ” it also notes a handful of other such counties in alabama and colorado. In these states miners in their 30s, 40s, and early 50s are getting black lung. That’s about 10 to 30 years sooner than in the past. Thirty-five percent of the cases were described as rapidly progressive, meaning the scar tissue in the lungs was spreading about twice as fast as normal. Black lung is contracted by prolonged breathing of coal dust. There is no cure. But the disease can be prevented by properly ventilating coal mines. As far back as 1995, niosh recommended lowering the coal-dust limit from two to one milligrams per cubic meter. The federal government, however, has taken no action on the recommendation for a decade. The study tracked x-rays of more than 29,000 miners between 1996 and 2002. buy viagra online viagra online viagra for sale buy cheap viagra viagra without a doctor prescription buy viagra from usa cheap viagra online no precription in canada cheap viagra online floridalighttacklecharters.com/thq-where-can-i-buy-non-prescription-viagra-rx/ cheap generic viagra It found about 3 percent had black lung, or coal miners’ pneumoconiosis. That compares to 10 percent in 1969. This study was conducted before the recent boom in coal production and the related speedup by the mine owners and their profit-driven disregard for safety. This has resulted in the deaths of 37 miners so far this year, overwhelmingly at nonunion mines. The study cites somerset county, pennsylvania, as one of the worst counties in the country for black-lung rates. George ellis, pennsylvania coal association president, said the findings contradict much of what he hears, reported the tribune democrat. “it’s the first i’ve heard of a problem in pennsylvania,” he said. According to ap, kentucky coal association president bill caylor said that more research should be done before coal operators are blamed. He pointed to the study’s reported overall decline in the disease in the last three decades to back up his claim. “miners are getting black lung at a younger age and a more advanced state,” sparkle bonds told the militant in a recent phone interview. Bonds works for the virginia black lung association. One min.

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