A mobile health clinic is touring different coal towns in Ohio to help miners find out if they have black lung disease. The goal is to detect the disease early before it gets worse.
In several towns in eastern Ohio, miners will be able to walk into a large trailer and receive a chest exam, a breathing test and more to see if they have black lung.
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown says this type of outreach, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control, is vital for miners’ health.
“Because it’s one of the most dangerous jobs in America, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health needs to engage the way they are with these mine units,” Brown says.
The Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program says early detection is key to stopping black lung before it progresses. Miners diagnosed with black lung would have the opportunity to apply for a transfer. But all results from the mobile unit are confidential.
A recent study by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health found that one in 10 coal miners, who have worked in underground mines for at least 25 years, have black lung.
The clinic will be making stops in Ohio this week.