Frequently Asked Questions

October 2018
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2019-112
niosh mobile van

How often does the NIOSH mobile testing unit provide lung screenings and where?

As a supplement to the Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program, our mobile units travel to different coal mining regions across the United States every spring and summer. Locations are based each year on areas where more extensive health information of coal miners is needed.

How will I know when lung screenings are available?

Announcements begin in March each year and run throughout the summer through NIOSH press releases, the Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program Facebook page (@CWHSP), @NIOSHBreathe Twitter, and the Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program webpage. Announcements are also made through local newspapers and radio stations.

Who can participate in the screenings?

All coal miners (current and former underground, surface, contract miners) are eligible to participate.

Do I have to pay for lung screening?

No. Screenings are free to all former and current coal miners as part of the Federal Coal Mine Safety and Health Act.

What is lung function testing (spirometry)?

Spirometry is a test that evaluates how well your lungs work by measuring how much air you can inhale and exhale, and how quickly you exhale. The test can help determine if a miner has a lung condition and helps to monitor conditions over time.

When and how do I receive my screening results?

Miners will receive their confidential results within 4-6 weeks after testing. Results are sent by mail directly to the miner’s home address.

Does ECWHSP save my results for future screenings or send them to my doctor?

Yes, we keep confidential records for each miner’s screening results to compare with past and future screenings. This enables us to identify changes in your lung health. We can also send
results to your doctor with a signed release from you.

ECWHSP Factsheet pdf icon[PDF – 864 KB]

Suggested Citation

NIOSH [2018]. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Enhanced Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program. By Wolfe A, Halldin C, Martin M. Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2019-112, icon

Page last reviewed: November 19, 2018