"Congress had it right in 1969 when it enacted legislation calling
for an end to black lung disease. We are here now to finish the job."
Final rule issued to better protect coal miners' health
The new rule will lower the concentration of harmful respirable coal mine dust that causes coal workers' pneumoconiosis, or black lung. It takes a comprehensive approach that includes: increased sampling by mine operators; use of new technology for real-time sampling results; immediate corrective action when excessive dust levels are found; determination of noncompliance based on a single MSHA sample; and reduced dust standards. The rule takes effect August 1, 2014, with some components phased in over the following two years. Proposed in 2010, the rule builds on years of research and was developed with the input of industry, labor, and health professionals. It is the centerpiece of the agency's campaign to End Black Lung, launched in 2009.
Information for Stakeholders
MSHA will provide extensive guidance and support to mine operators and miners during the implementation period, including through the following:
Dust Data Card Examples
Pocket cards for miners
The Toll of Black Lung