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Respirable Dust Rule: A Historic Step Forward in the Effort to End Black Lung Disease

  • The toll of black lung continues


MSHA’s Respirable Coal Dust Rule Is Better Protecting Our Nation’s Miners

On August 1, 2014, MSHA’s landmark respirable dust rule went into effect, adding a number of increased protections for coal miners and closing several loopholes that masked their exposure to unhealthy coal mine dust. Respirable coal dust sampling results for the first year of the rule—containing those new protections—show that compliance is achievable and, most importantly, that the nation’s coal miners are now, more than ever before, better protected from the debilitating and deadly black lung disease.

Phase II Now in Effect

On February 1, 2016, Phase II of MSHA’s respirable dust rule went into effect.  It requires mine operators:

  • To use continuous personal dust monitors (CPDMs) to monitor underground coal mine occupations exposed to the highest respirable dust concentrations as well as to monitor miners who have evidence of Black Lung (Part 90 miners);
  • To collect an increased number of respirable coal mine dust samples in underground mines for occupations most exposed to respirable dust and for Part 90 miners;
  • To notify miners more quickly on the results of respirable dust samples taken with the CPDM.

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