Monday, January 28, 2019

FRONTLINE - 'Coal's Deadly Dust'

"Coal miners have been inhaling deadly silica dust for decades.  Now they’re dying" PBS NewsHour 1/22/2019


SUMMARY:  For decades, coal miners have been inhaling silica dust on the job.  The extremely fine particles, generated when the quartz-rich limestone surrounding coal seams is cut, lodge in the lungs, obstructing respiration.  According to a Frontline/NPR report, both the industry and the government understood the hazard for decades but did little to contain it.  Howard Berkes of NPR joins John Yang.

John Yang (NewsHour):  Judy, this is all due to minors inhaling silica dust.

While regulations about monitoring mine dust have been on the books since the mid-1970s, this new investigation finds that federal regulators failed to pay close enough attention to their own data.  Since 2010, the government has counted 115 cases of advanced black lung nationwide.

But the NPR/"Frontline" investigation identified more than 2,300 cases in just five Appalachian states.

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