Free black lung screenings offered in August

If you go

What: Free black lung screenings for surface coal miners

When and where: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 16 and 17 at Colowyo Mine and 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 18 at Trapper Mine

— To schedule an appointment, call 1-888-480-4042.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will offer a series of free, confidential health screenings for surface coal miners in Craig and Meeker next month.

The screenings are intended to provide early detection of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, also known as black lung, a serious but preventable occupational lung disease in coal miners caused by breathing respirable coal mine dust.

“It is critical to detect coal workers’ pneumoconiosis as early as possible, to guide intervention and keep the disease from advancing to stages in which it becomes progressively debilitating and life-threatening,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “The screening offered by NIOSH is designed to serve that purpose. As a source of data through which scientists may identify trends in cases, it is also a vital component of efforts by NIOSH and its partners to protect miners at risk and eliminate coal workers’ pneumoconiosis once and for all.”

Screenings will be offered from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 16 and 17 at Colowyo Mine, 5731 Colorado Highway 13, Meeker, and from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 18 at Trapper Mine, 25910 Colorado Highway 13, Craig.

Screenings will be done in a NIOSH mobile testing van. Testing typically takes about 15 minutes and includes a questionnaire and chest X-ray. Blood pressure screenings will also be available.

NIOSH provides miners with the results of his or her own screening, but screening results and names of participating miners remain confidential.

Walk-in participants will be accepted, but the institute encourages miners to make an appointment by calling 1-888-480-4042.

For more information about the NIOSH screening program, visit http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/surveillance/ORDS/ecwhsp.html.

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