NIOSH Announces Free, Confidential Black Lung Screenings for Coal Miners

July 12, 2022
NIOSH Update:

Contact: Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program, 1-888-480-4042,

Mobile Black Lung test truck

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will offer free, confidential black lung screenings to coal miners in August 2022. The screenings provide early detection of black lung disease, a serious but preventable disease in coal miners caused by breathing coal mine dust.

Screenings are provided through the NIOSH mobile testing unit at convenient community and mine locations. This year’s screenings will be held in August in Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia. All coal miners—current, former, underground, surface, and those under contract—are welcome to participate.

“Black lung disease can occur in miners who work in mines of all sizes,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “Early detection of black lung disease allows underground, surface and contract miners to take the steps needed to keep it from progressing to severe lung disease.”

Participation provides coal miners with a free screening and a confidential report on their lung health.

Screenings will take approximately 15 minutes and will include:

  • A work history and respiratory questionnaire
  • A chest x-ray
  • Blood pressure screening

Spirometry (lung testing) will not be provided this year.

Each miner will be provided their results which, by law, are confidential. Individual medical information and test results are protected health information and not publicly disclosed.

Screening locations, dates, and times will be posted on the Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program (CWHSP) webpage, CWHSP Facebook, and @NIOSHBreathe on Twitter.  Local and individual outreach will be done in all specific locations.

Department of Health and Human Services
Public Health Service
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Institute for Occupational Safety and health

Page last reviewed: July 12, 2022