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Prevent Black Lung Act Now!

Respirable coal mine dust can cause lung diseases such as coal workers pneumoconiosis (CWP), emphysema, silicosis, and bronchitis'known collectively as black lung. Black lung can lead to lung impairment, permanent disability, and even death. While there is no cure for black lung, there are important and potentially life-saving measures that MSHA requires to be undertaken to reduce exposure to respirable coal mine dust and prevent disease. Even though these measures have been required for many years, new cases of black lung continue to occur among the nation's coal miners, even in younger miners.

Studies conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and MSHA in 2005, 2006, 2007 of chest x-ray surveillance by NIOSH indicated that the prevalence rate of CWP is increasing in our Nation's coal miners. Even more disturbing is that advanced and seriously debilitating cases of CWP are now seen in younger and younger miners.

While considerable progress has been made in reducing miners exposure to respirable coal mine dust, miners continue to develop black lung and silicosis. MSHA is implementing a comprehensive strategy that includes rulemaking, enhanced enforcement, collaborative outreach and education and training. The risk to a miner's health can be reduced by controlling respirable coal mine dust exposures. It's time to End Black Lung ACT NOW!


Phase II Rulemaking Material - Launched October 2010
  • Video Message (2010)
  • White House Blog Post
  • Press Releases
  • November 30, 2010 - MSHA announces scheduling changes related to public hearings on coal mine dust rule
  • November 10, 2010 - MSHA announces it will hold 6 public hearings on coal mine dust rule
  • October 14, 2010 - MSHA issues proposed rule on lowering miners' exposure to respirable coal dust
  • Letters of Endorsement
  • Regulatory Information

  • 2011-13238 Proposed rule; extension of comment period - Published 05/27/2011
  • 2011-10780 Proposed rule; extension of comment period - Published 05/04/2011
  • 2011-5127 Proposed rule; request for comment. - Published 03/08/2011
  • 2011-704 Proposed rule; extension of comment period; request for comments. - Published 01/14/2011
  • 2010-30099 Proposed rule; rescheduling of public hearings; correction. - Published 11/30/2010
  • 2010-28676 Proposed rule; notice of public hearings; corrections. - Published 11/15/2010
  • Proposed Rule - 2010-25249 - Published 10/19/2010
    Lowering Miners' Exposure to Respirable Coal Mine Dust Including Continuous Personal Dust Monitors
  • Preliminary Regulatory Economic Analysis
  • Fact Sheet on the Proposed Rule
  • Quantitative Risk Assessment
  • QRA, Dust Data Files, InspSamp.txt, InspSamp.zip, OpSamp.txt, OpSamp.zip, March 2010.
  • Peer Review Comments Submitted by NIOSH
  • Peer Review Comments Submitted by OSHA
  • Peer Review
  • Summary of the Proposed Rule
  • Brief Summary of Proposed Rule Including Costs and Benefits
  • Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Exposure to Respiralbe Coal Mine Dust (NIOSH, 1995)
  • Report of the Secretary of Labor's Advisory Committee on the Elimination of Pneumoconiosis Among Coal Mine Workers (1996)
  • More Resources

  • Current Intelligence Bulletin 64, Coal Mine Dust Exposures and Associated Health Outcomes - A Review of Information Published Since 1995, NIOSH, April 2011
  • Results of Operator Compliance Sampling - CY2006 - CY2010



  • Phase I Material - Launched December 2009

    Important Information from the Assistant Secretary

  • From the Assistant Secretary's Desk
  • Del Escritorio del Subsecretario
  • Press Release
  • Video Message (2009)
  • Coal Mine Dust Control Continuing the Fight Against Black Lung
  • Control de Polvo en las Minas de Carbón Continuando la Lucha Contra el Pulmón Negro
  • MSHA Dust Sweep
  • La "Barrida de Polvo" de MSHA
  • Statements of Support

  • Congressional Supporters
  • Senator Robert C. Byrd
  • Senator Jay Rockefeller
  • Representative Nick J. Rahall, II
  • Representative Shelley Moore Capito
  • Representative Rich Boucher

  • Gubernatorial Support
  • Governor Joe Manchin III

  • NIOSH
  • More Resources

  • Black Lung Clinics
  • Charts
  • Controlling Dust
  • Documents
  • Health Hazard Cards and Information Sheets
  • Posters
  • Flyer
  • Reports
  • Rulemaking
  • Video Resources
  • Web Resources
  • Workshop Materials
  • Meeting Programs

    End Black Lung Rollout Meeting Programs
  • Beckley, WV - 12/03/2009
  • Washington, PA - 12/07/2009
  • Lebanon, VA - 12/10/2009
  • Frankfort, KY - 12/11/2009
  • Joint NIOSH/MSHA Dust Control Workshops

  • Beckley, WV - November 3, 2009
  • Birmingham, AL - March 24, 2010
  • Evansville, IN - April 21, 2010
  • Grand Junction, CO - June 2, 2010


  • Respirable Coal Mine Dust Historical Information and Data

    MSHA has posted historical data and information on respirable coal mine dust. MSHA encourages coal mine operators, miners, contractors and other members of the mining community and public to view this data.
  • Number of Operator and MSHA respirable coal mine dust samples broken down by MSHA District and Mine ID for calendar years 2001-2010.
  • Number of respirable coal mine dust samples analyzed for silica (quartz) broken down by MSHA District and Mine ID for calendar years 2001-2010.
  • Number of bi-monthly periods specific sampling entities were on a reduced respirable dust standard due to silica by MSHA District and Mine ID for calendar years 2001-2010.
  • Number of respirable coal mine dust samples voided for having too many oversized particles (dust particles greater than 10 microns in diameter) by sample type for calendar years 2001-2010.
  • Number of Operator and MSHA respirable coal mine dust samples voided each year broken down by MSHA District and Mine ID for calendar years 2001-2010.
  • Void Code List
  • All Voids
  • Number of citations issued for exceeding the respirable dust standard (2.0mg/m3 standard 70.100(a), 71.100: 1.0 mg/m3 standard for Part 90 miners and intake air 90.100, 70.100(b): reduced standard due to quartz (silica) 70.101, 71.101, 90.101) for calendar years 2001-2010.
  • Number of coal mines that have closed since 1970 by state.
  • Total employment at closed coal mines by state for 1978-2010.



  • "And always remember: What's on face you can wash off, but what's on your lungs you can't. So be safe, and take care of yourself." - Carl Bailey, died of black lung disease.



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