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MSHA News Release No. 2000-0710
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Contact: Rodney Brown
Phone: (703) 235-1452 

 Released Monday, July 10, 2000

MINE ACADEMY INITIATES SAFETY AND HEALTH LECTURE SERIES

Dr. Donald Rasmussen, a major figure in the history of the black lung movement, will speak next Wednesday at the National Mine Health and Safety Academy in Beaver, W. Va., in the first of a new series of mine safety and health lectures.

Davitt McAteer, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health, will introduce Dr. Rasmussen and the lecture series. The Academy plans to host public lectures by experts on a variety of mine health and safety issues on a regular basis over the next several years.

Dr. Rasmussen will discuss the history of the black lung movement in the late 1960's and continuing problems facing miners today. The presentation will include a special viewing of a video entitled The History of the Black Lung Movement. The video features interviews with victims of the disease and those who played significant roles in the battle for legal recognition of this danger to the Nation's miners.

A Colorado native, Dr. Rasmussen has lived and worked in West Virginia since 1962. Since 1986, he has headed the Division of Pulmonary Medicine at the Southern West Virginia Clinic in Beckley. He has testified at numerous hearings before committees of the West Virginia legislature and the U.S. Congress. He also has published numerous papers dealing with the causes and effects of pneumoconiosis and served on several committees appointed to help investigate the condition of black lung victims.

The presentation by Dr. Rasmussen will begin at 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday, July 12, in the auditorium of the National Mine Health and Safety Academy at 1301 Airport Road in Beaver, W. Va. The lecture is open to the public and there is no charge for attendance. For further information, contact Melody Bragg at 304-256-3556 or Judy Burns at 304-256-3200.