The Federal Coal Mine Health Program in 1971

DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 72-10270

This annual report described the activities of NIOSH under the regulations of the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969. As required by the Act, the first round of medical examinations of coal workers was completed in 1971. NIOSH participated by certifying the physicians, certifying the x-ray facilities to be used, approving coal mine operator plans for making possible the chest x-rays, and arranged contracts with individuals to have this work completed. NIOSH will start examinations of miners working strip or auger mines in 1972 in efforts to learn of health hazards associated with surface coal mining. In 1971 an autopsy program was begun for the purpose of assisting survivors in establishing claims for black lung disease benefits. Research efforts were extended to learn the mechanisms of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis development and provide better means for early detection of the disease. The studies included biochemical research, pathological examinations, studies of the role of infectious diseases in the progression of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, and clinical and physiological measurements. Coal dust sampling instruments were further refined in 1971 to provide better data collection capabilities in the field. Threshold limit values were recommended for noise in mining operations.

Page last reviewed: March 29, 2017