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Respiratory diseases related to the coal mining industry


The coal mining industry is an important industry in West Virginia and other states across the nation. Thousands of workers risk their life and their health every day to help promote this business trade. And in some unfortunate cases, miners will suffer in a coal-mining incident. Although the risk of injuries and illnesses are apparent in this industry, specific steps and regulations have been put in place to increase the safety of miners. Despite these efforts, miners suffer serious diseases related to the work they do in the mines.

Respiratory diseases are a major risk for miners because this trade exposes miners to an environment that makes them especially vulnerable to lung diseases. Miners are at a heightened risk of developing pneumoconiosis because they are regularly exposed to airborne dust. Moreover, miners that are exposed to exhaust from diesel engines have an increased risk of lung cancer.

Pneumoconiosis means dusty lung, and the two main types that affect miners are black lung and silicosis. The black lung is associated with coal mining while silicosis can affect workers in various types of mines and quarries, including coalmines. Other respiratory diseases that impact coal miners include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Suffering from a respiratory diseases related to the work environment, such as a coalmine, can greatly impact the health of a worker. In addition, it can hinder the person's ability to work. In these matters, workers can seek workers' compensation to help them offset the damages related to the workplace illness. This could include medical expenses as well as lost wages.

Source: Cdc.gov, "Mining Topic: Respiratory Diseases," accessed Sept. 4, 2016

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