Clock is Ticking for Thousands of Coal Miners Who Suffer From Black Lung

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Manage episode 231677303 series 134268
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Across Appalachia, thousands of coal miners have suffered from black lung disease. In the 1960s, miners organized a movement to end the chronic condition. They convinced Congress to pass new laws that were supposed to make black lung a thing of the past. Today, conditions underground have changed, and the disease has come roaring back. Black lung, also known as coal workers' pneumoconiosis, is caused by long-term exposure to coal dust in the process of mining. Inhaled coal dust builds up in the lungs, causing inflammation, and eventually tissue death. Many sufferers describe a feeling of drowning because their lungs are unable to work properly and they can’t take a breath. A 2013 investigation by the Center for Public Integrity into the misconceptions surrounding the disease and the regulatory maze associated with applying and being approved for black lung benefits revealed a system in which coal miners are fighting an unfair battle for disability payments and medical care. CPI found

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