The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is planning free, confidential black lung screenings to coal miners in August in Virginia, Kentucky and West Virginia.
Screenings are provided through the NIOSH mobile testing unit at convenient community and mine locations. All coal miners – current, former, underground, surface, and those under contract – are welcome to participate.
Participation provides coal miners with a free screening and a confidential report on their lung health. Screenings take approximately 15 minutes and include a work history and respiratory questionnaire, a chest x-ray and a blood pressure screening. Spirometry (lung testing) will not be provided this year.
“Black lung disease can occur in miners who work in mines of all sizes,” said NIOSH Director John Howard. “Early detection of black lung disease allows underground, surface and contract miners to take the steps needed to keep it from progressing to severe lung disease.
“Each miner will be provided their results which, by law, are confidential. Individual medical information and test results are protected health information and not publicly disclosed.”
A current list of dates is available here. Interested individuals can also keep track of dates via the Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program (CWHSP) webpage, CWHSP Facebook, and @NIOSHBreathe on Twitter.