Letters to the Editor

Letters on rise in black-lung cases

Uptick in black lung

According to Reuters, more than 10 percent of America’s coal miners with more than 25 years on the job have black-lung disease, which was nearly wiped out in the 1990s.

Possible reasons for the outbreak in cases include mining in played-out coal seams and the indictment of 14 Kentucky safety officials for lying to federal officials about dust levels and safety regulations.

Margaret Ricketts


How many miners smoke?

A recent Herald-Leader article stated that 20 percent of Central Appalachian coal miners with more than 25 years of experience were found to have black-lung disease.

It would be interesting to know what percentage of non-smoking miners with the same experience was similarly diagnosed. I suspect it would be significantly lower. If so, that would seem to lower the disability compensation to which smoking miners are entitled. Just a thought.

Mike Daugherty, M.D.