New Data Show Spike in Severe Black Lung Disease

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) – New data show many more coal miners across Appalachia suffering from the most serious form of black lung disease than federal regulators previously reported.

National Public Radio says (http://n.pr/2hWzhSi ) its investigation shows cases 10 times more prevalent, with 11 black lung clinics in Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio recording 962 cases so far this decade.

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The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health said Thursday that 60 current and former miners -from Pike, Floyd, Letcher and Knott counties in Kentucky – were diagnosed with progressive massive fibrosis, the most severe form of black lung, between January 2015 and last August.

The NIOSH findings, first reported by the Lexington Herald-Leader, spike from 31 cases identified nationwide from 1990-1999.
Black lung has caused about 78,000 deaths since 1968.
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Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.