MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — Coal miners who are at risk of suffering from black lung disease will soon be able to get a better idea of their health at a screening clinic in Morgantown.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) said in a release that it will offer free, confidential screenings at Mylan Park in Morgantown using its mobile screening unit at the Mine Safety and Health Administration WV Mine Rescue Contest.
The screening takes about 15 minutes and includes the following steps:
- A work history and respiratory questionnaire
- A chest x-ray
- Spirometry (breathing) tests
- Blood pressure screening
“If black lung is caught early, steps can be taken to help prevent it from progressing to the most serious forms of the disease,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “The NIOSH mobile unit provides underground, surface and contract miners with confidential screenings that can support next steps in reducing their exposure to coal dust.”
Coal workers’ pneumoconiosis—aka black lung disease—is described by NIOSH as “a serious but preventable disease in coal miners caused by breathing coal mine dust.” NIOSH said that the screening it provides gives coal miners a confidential report on their lung health.
The event will be at Mylan Park in Morgantown from July 25-27 and will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. The release said that no appointments are necessary and that all coal miners are encouraged to receive a screening, both aboveground and underground.