Who Is Caring For The Health And Safety Of Coal Miners?
Coal miner Doug Rutherford takes a break after his shift at a small mine on May 19, 2017 outside the city of Welch, West Virginia.
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A multi-year investigation published by Frontline and NPR reached devastating conclusions about the outbreak of advanced black lung disease affecting Appalachia.
The report found that federal government regulators failed to respond to warning signs ahead of the outbreak. Regulators were “were urged to take specific and direct action to stop it.” But they didn’t.
From the story:
It’s an “epidemic” and “clearly one of the worst industrial medicine disasters that’s ever been described,” said Scott Laney, an epidemiologist at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
“We’re counting thousands of cases,” he said. “Thousands and thousands and thousands of black lung cases. Thousands of cases of the most severe form of black lung. And we’re not done counting yet.”
The reporters spoke to Danny Smith, who spent about 12 years underground in the mines. His father suffered from the same disease.
Charles Shortridge, Diagnosed with black lung disease, worked in the mines for over 25 years.
Howard Berkes, Correspondent – Investigations, NPR, @hberkes
Davitt McAteer, Former Assistant Secretary, Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), 1993-2000, retired attorney
Amy Harder, Reporter covering energy and climate, Axios; former reporter, The Wall Street Journal; @AmyAHarder