Emily Rice Published

Black Lung Screenings And Town Hall In Oakhill

A picture of blackened lungs of a coal miner who received a transplant at age 60.
The blackened lungs of a coal miner who received a transplant at age 60.
Mine Safety and Health Administration

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Mobile Health Unit will be at New River Health in Oak Hill Tuesday to provide free health screenings from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The screenings are open to the public and to retired or working coal miners. Screenings will include chest x-rays, breathing tests and benefits counseling.

Access to this kind of testing in rural areas is vital, according to Courtney Rhoades, Black Lung Organizer with the Appalachian Citizens Law Center.

“Whether you’re a coal miner or someone who just thinks they have any type of pulmonary symptoms happening, it’s so important to make sure that you’re getting screened to make sure that you’re keeping up with your health,” Rhoades said.

A Black Lung Town Hall hosted by the National Black Lung Association, National Coalition of Black Lung and Respiratory Disease Clinics, and the United Mine Workers of America will be held after the health fair, at 5:00 p.m.
The town hall will provide updates on the black lung epidemic and the newly proposed silica dust exposure rule from the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting with support from Charleston Area Medical Center and Marshall Health.