Coal Miners | WOSU Radio

Coal Miners

The nation's top coal mine safety regulator told members of Congress on Thursday that existing safety regulations are sufficient to protect miners from toxic dust, despite calls for change amid an epidemic of advanced black lung disease among coal miners in Appalachia.

Assistant Secretary of Labor David Zatezalo, testifying before the House Workforce Protections Subcommittee, said sampling from coal mines shows a 99% compliance rate with rules designed to limit workers' exposure to silica, the dust blamed for the disease outbreak.

Miners walk into the mobile health clinic as it makes a stop in Morgantown, West Virgina.
National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health / Twitter

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.