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MSHA’s Main pays tribute to an icon in the fight against black lung disease

MSHA News Statement: [07/24/2015]

ARLINGTON, Va. – Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Joseph A. Main today issued the following statement on the passing of black lung research physician Dr. Donald Rasmussen:

“The coal mining community has lost one of its most passionate advocates with the passing of Dr. Donald Rasmussen yesterday. Treating coal miners afflicted with black lung disease became his life’s mission. In fact, in a career spanning more than five decades, he tested tens of thousands of mine workers.

“One of the last times I spoke with Dr. Rasmussen was shortly after the Mine Safety and Health Administration issued the new respirable dust rule aimed at preventing black lung. He was so thankful that, after all these years, it had finally happened.

“Dr. Rasmussen was a humble man, and he would say he was merely a physician performing his duty to his patients. But for so many of us who shared his vision, he was a hero. He will be greatly missed by miners and their families across the country whose lives he touched.”

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Media Contacts:
Amy Louviere, 202-693-9423, louviere.amy@dol.gov
Release Number: 15-1479-NAT