NIOSH Announces Free, Confidential 2016 Screenings for Coal Miners

August 3, 2016
NIOSH Update:

Contact: Anita Wolfe (888) 480-4042

WHAT

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will offer a series of free, confidential health screenings to coal miners in western VA.  The screenings are intended to provide early detection of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP), also known as black lung, a serious but preventable occupational lung disease caused by breathing respirable coal mine dust. All coal miners (current, former, underground, surface, and contract) are encouraged to participate.

WHEN

August 19 through September 12, 2016

WHERE

The health screenings will be provided through the state-of-the-art NIOSH mobile testing unit at convenient community and mine locations.

Walk-ins are accepted, though miners are urged to call 1-888-480-4042 to schedule an appointment:

Location Date Times
St. Charles Black Lung Clinic – 213 Monarch Road, St. Charles, VA 24282 8/19/16 8am – 6pm
Under Bridge Beside Save-A-Lot Store – Intersection at Callahan Avenue, Appalachia, VA 24216 8/22/16
8/23/16
6am – 7pm
Deep Mine #26, Paramont Coal – Red Onion Prison Road, Pound, VA 24279 8/24/16 5am – 6pm
Walmart – 780 Commonwealth Drive, Norton, VA 24273 8/25/16
8/26/16
7am – 7pm
Binns-Counts Community Center – 124 Ritter Circle, McClure, VA 24269 8/29/16 8am – 6pm
Deep Mine #41 – Paramont Coal, 1465 Herndon Rd, McClure, VA 24269 8/30/16 6am – 6pm
St. Paul Shopping Center – Wise Street, St. Paul, VA, 24283 8/31/16 7am – 7pm
Brickyard Shopping Plaza – Food Lion, 124 Kents Ridge Road, Richlands, VA 24641 9/1/16 7am – 7pm
Big Rock Community Center – 1054 School House Road, Big Rock, VA 24603 9/2/16 7am – 7pm
Hurley Black Lung Clinic – 10279 Hurley Road, Hurley, VA 24620 9/5/16 7am – 7pm
Comfort Inn – 22006 Riverside Drive, Route 460 & Main Street, Grundy, VA 24614 9/6/16
9/7/16
7am – 7pm
Save-A-Lot Store – 3413 Riverside Drive, Oakwood, VA 24631 9/8/16
9/9/16
7am – 7pm
Vansant Black Lung Clinic – Anchorage Shopping Center , 1060 Anchorage Circle, Vansant, VA 24656 9/12/16 8am – 7pm

BACKGROUND

The prevalence of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis among long-term underground miners that participated in chest x-ray screening decreased from the 1970s to the 1990s. However since 1999, the prevalence of CWP among U.S. coal miners is increasing.  CWP can occur in mines of all sizes.  Miners who work in particular areas of the country, in certain mining jobs, and in smaller mines have an increased risk of developing CWP. Progressive Massive Fibrosis (PMF), a more serious, advanced disease, is much more prevalent among miners from underground mines with fewer than 50 workers.

Beginning in April 2016, NIOSH began this year’s first phase of mobile screening for black lung in coal mining regions throughout Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.  The second focus, in parts of western VA, closes out the screenings for the year.

The screenings will include a work history questionnaire, a chest radiograph, a respiratory assessment questionnaire, and spirometry testing.  Blood pressure screening will be conducted as well.  Typically, the process takes about 30 minutes.  NIOSH provides the individual miner with the results of their own screening.  By law, each person’s results are confidential.  No individual information is publicly disclosed.

NIOSH encourages miners and their families to find out additional information about the Program at the following website: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/surveillance/ORDS/ecwhsp.html

NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. For more information about NIOSH visit www.cdc.gov/niosh/.

Page last reviewed: March 16, 2016