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Black Lung Disease on the Rise

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posted on Oct, 5 2006 @ 12:50 PM
From link:

"Something doesn't add up, because we're seeing lots more disease than would be expected at those levels of dust," said Vinicius Antao of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the lead researcher on the project.

The study, published last month in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, built on 2003 research that showed pockets where black lung disease was progressing rapidly, particularly in southwest Virginia and eastern Kentucky.

It would certainly appear that something does not add up. There have been some accounts of other mining related deaths which have peaked my attention, to also include suicides, and now a disease that was 'suppose' to be nearly eradicated is making a come back? Or is it? According to other sources, I've read here and there, this disease should not be high in numbers at all, today because there are tests that are done to reveal the amount of coal dusts prior to mining.

Makes me wonder if there are not some 'disturbances under the ground' that are causing this high level.

Any thoughts?

posted on Oct, 5 2006 @ 03:46 PM
It may have something to do with the increased man-hours at domestic coal mines that occur when energy prices rise.

Or am I mistaken?

I know that, for a while, the industry was in a slump. It had a major resurgence in the seventies, another minor slump in the eighties (I think), and a major upswing just recently.

If researchers are looking at twenty or thirty year averages from, say, 1940-1970, and comparing them to numbers from 1970-2000, there's going to be a huge discrepancy. Of course more people are going to be admitted into the hospital with the disease if more people are underground mining coal during that period of time. I don't know if the CDC numbers take into account the cyclical decrease/increase in the number of underground workers or not, I have to take a look at the report.

If the researchers are just looking at hospital admissions, they're going to have a false picture of the frequency of the disease.

Just a thought...

I'm gonna check out the report and see if I can find the answer to my question. If they did indeed factor production/employment levels into their figures, there's got to be something else going on.

(Edit: Two more theories have cropped up, after reading the article and doing a bit of digging, no pun intended. First theory - scummy companies putting workers at risk for the profit motive. Second theory - fewer smokers. Smoking coats the lungs in a gooey barrier of tar and mucuous, and it forces more expectoration, which can protect somewhat against a build-up of coal dust in the lungs. That's the best I can do at the moment. The fact that the hotspots are breaking the national trend would seem to invalidate the second theory, but they may be pockets of non-smokers, I dunno. The notion of more toxic coal is definitely plausible, I suppose they'll have to do some testing to determine whether or not that's the case. )

[edit on 5-10-2006 by WyrdeOne]


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