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NIOSH Announces Free Black Lung Screening Event for Coal Miners April 23-25

WASHINGTON – The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will offer free and confidential black lung screenings to coal miners April 23-25 in Beaver, West Virginia. The screenings will be offered through a mobile testing unit at the MSHA National Mine Health and Safety Academy located at 1301 Airport Road in Beaver. Screenings will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The screenings support early detection of black lung disease, a serious but preventable disease in coal miners caused by breathing coal mine dust.All coal miners (current, former, underground, surface, and those under contract) are encouraged to participate.

“The NIOSH mobile unit plays an important role in the early detection of black lung disease,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “When caught early, steps can be taken to help prevent black lung from progressing to the most serious forms of the disease.”

Participation provides coal miners with a free screening and a confidential report on their lung health.

Screenings will take approximately 30 minutes and will include:

  • A work history and respiratory health questionnaire
  • A chest x-ray
  • Blood pressure screening
  • A breathing test (spirometry)

Screenings are confidential by law. Each miner will be provided their results within 8-10 weeks from their screening appointment. Appointments are recommended but walks-ins are welcome. Contact the NIOSH Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program at 1-888-480-4042 or CWHSP@cdc.gov.

Through the mobile health screenings, NIOSH is bringing life-saving medical screening to areas hit hardest by the black lung epidemic. To date, NIOSH has provided more than 40,000 free black lung screenings for coal miners. In addition to providing high-quality health screening, NIOSH’s Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program plays a major role in tracking the burden of lung disease in coal miners and in detecting recent increases in black lung affecting coal miners.

About NIOSH
NIOSH, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is the federal institute that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. Find more information about NIOSH at www.cdc.gov/niosh.