Monday, August 1, 2011

Black Lung Disease

Today we are constantly presented with anti-smoking campaigns and ads, including some very graphic ones.  We are shown lungs and lives destroyed by what is at its root a voluntary act.  Granted, the results of tobacco consumption are tragic, but we should also be aware of another tragic health issue, this one less voluntary.  Black  lung disease is caused by breathing coal dust, an inevitable aspect of coal mining.  Basically to be a coal miner is to put oneself at risk for this otherwise fully presentable disease.  Yet, people living in coal mining areas often have little choice of careers with which to support themselves and their families.  Webmd's only advice to coal miners is this, "The only way to prevent CWP is to not inhale coal dust. This could mean quitting your job."

Unfortunately, as long as coal is seen as a necessary energy source, many people will be economically pressured into this dangerous line of work. Over a thousand new cases of black lung disease are diagnosed each year in the U.S.  As we move forward into the twenty-first century, don't you think it's time we found a safe energy source?

For further research into black lung disease, check out gives a medical analysis of the disease while delves into some of the legal issues related to it.  Finally, to really understand what the victims, the coal miners themselves, are thinking you can view interview videos at   

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