Keith Hautala

By

College: Public Health

Lexington Conference Will Address Black Lung Disease

Published: Jul 30, 2013
 

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 30, 2013) - The following column appeared in the Lexington Herald-Leader on Sunday, July 28.

 

By Steven Browning

 

Regardless of one’s opinions about coal, everyone can agree on the importance of mine workers’ health and safety.

 

Remarkable success has been achieved in reducing fatalities and injuries in the coal mining industry, through collaborative efforts of government, industry and labor groups. Last year marked the lowest fatality and injury rates in the history of U.S. mining, according to the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

 

However, recent data indicate that rates of black lung disease — a debilitating condition similar to the long-term effects of tobacco smoking — could be increasing among coal miners in central Appalachia. Breathing coal dust over the course of a working life can cause the disease.

 

According to studies by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the highest prevalence of black lung is among miners in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia.

 

The current rise is particularly troublesome as the disease had been in decline for more than four decades, since the adoption of the 1968 Mine Safety Act. Research also indicates that miners today could be developing severe cases of the disease at younger ages.

 

The cause of the increase is uncertain. It could be due to changes in work practices, the mining of thinner seams of coal or failure to comply with existing regulations.

 

Given that chronic lung conditions, including black lung, are irreversible, prevention is key to combatting the disease. This requires a concerted public health approach involving coal miners, industry officials, government administrators and health and safety personnel, as well as public support.

 

The federal government is proposing new rules to tighten the coal dust standard, in addition to modifying the procedures by which compliance is determined. It is difficult to determine or predict the extent to which regulatory changes will have the intended consequences of lowering exposure to coal dust and, ideally, reducing incidence of black lung disease.

 

The history of public health has demonstrated the importance of regulatory interventions — such as seat belt laws or routine restaurant inspections — in reducing injury and illness.

 

On Aug. 22, researchers, government officials, industry representatives and health and safety professionals will gather at the Hilton Lexington Downtown for a day long conference. Topics will include the epidemiology of black lung disease among miners in Appalachia.

 

For information about the conference or to register, go to CE Central.com/live/6851. The conference is open to the public but registration is required. The cost is $25, including lunch.

 

Steven Browning is an assistant professor of epidemiology in the University of Kentucky College of Public Health and assistant director of Central Appalachian Regional Education

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Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
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Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
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Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
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2
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
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UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Sun
4
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
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Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Mon
5
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Tue
6
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Wed
7
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Thu
8
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Fri
9
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Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
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10
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Sun
11
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Mon
12
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Tue
13
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Birdhouse Display and Auction
Wed
14
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Birdhouse Display and Auction
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Thu
15
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Birdhouse Display and Auction
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Curator Tour
Fri
16
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Birdhouse Display and Auction
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Sat
17
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Birdhouse Display and Auction
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Sun
18
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Birdhouse Display and Auction
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Mon
19
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Birdhouse Display and Auction
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
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20
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Birdhouse Display and Auction
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Wed
21
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Birdhouse Display and Auction
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Thu
22
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Birdhouse Display and Auction
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Fri
23
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Birdhouse Display and Auction
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Sat
24
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Birdhouse Display and Auction
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Sun
25
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Birdhouse Display and Auction
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Mon
26
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Birdhouse Display and Auction
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Tue
27
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Birdhouse Display and Auction
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Wed
28
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Birdhouse Display and Auction
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Thu
29
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Birdhouse Display and Auction
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
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Fri
30
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Birdhouse Display and Auction
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Sat
31
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Birdhouse Display and Auction
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Sun
 
 
 
 
 
 

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