This historic image provided by the Center for Disease Control's (CDC), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), depicted two men inside a coal mine, crouched down low beneath the ceiling support beams. The man wearing the eyeglasses was thought to be an industrial hygienist, who happened to be on-site, in order to conduct some air quality readings. Neither man was wearing what would now be considered as an appropriate filtered breathing device. Mining coal, especially under circumstances such as these close quarters, facilitated coal dust inhalation, thereby, predisposing miners to the long-term negative health effects of this profession such as 'black lung disease', or 'coal-workers' pneumoconiosis' (CWP). Today, the Federal government's stringent regulations on the level of coal dust permissible in the air of a coal mine, and the requisite use of filtered breathing devices, has dramatically lowered the number of cases of black lung disease.
CDC/ Barbara Jenkins, NIOSH
November 27, 2012
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