Governor Ralph Northam signed a proclamation declaring that April 5th is Coal Mine Safety and Black Lung Disease Awareness Day. In this proclamation, Governor Northam refers to the research conducted by Stone Mountain Health Services in Southwest Virginia for the importance of Coal Mine Safety and Black Lung Disease Awareness Day.
The research was published in a February 2018 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The research confirmed 416 cases of progressive massive fibrosis in three clinics in central Appalachia from 2013 to 2017 which is “the largest cluster of Progressive Massive Fibrosis (PMF) reported in the scientific literature”. One in five coal miners (who have worked at least 25 years in coal mines), may have Black Lung Disease.
Early detection of both Black Lung Disease and PMF can help miners protect themselves and improve their quality of life. Screenings are available at Stone Mountain Health Services and other federally-funded Black Lung Clinics.