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It's a disease that's been around for as long as coal has been mined in the Appalachian Mountains -- Black lung is not a new term, but those working the Black lung program at Stone Mountain Health Services say over the last ten years they've noticed a change. They found younger people are now finding themselves dying from what was once known as 'an old man's disease.'

In this special series, we wanted to know what could be causing this change and how the industry is helping miners react to it.


The series

Black lung now affecting younger miners

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It's a disease that's been around for as long as coal has been mined in the Appalachian Mountains -- Black lung is not a new term, but those working the Black lung program at Stone Mountain Health Services say over the last ten years they've noticed a change.

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Treatment and prevention of Black lung

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Thousands of men and women mine coal everyday across the world and sometimes there are complications. Black lung is a disease those at Stone Mountain Health Services say they're diagnosing more often.

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Benefits for Black lung patients

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There is no cure for black lung. There is, however, treatment to extend and improve the quality of life of those diagnosed. Sometimes that treatment is paid for through the Federal Black Lung Medical Card -- but getting those benefits is not simple.

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More facts about Black lung


American Lung Association: Pneumoconiosis

UMWA: Black lung information

Department of Labor: Black lung compensation

CDC: Coal Worker's Health Program

Mine Safety and Health Administration