Monday, February 1, 2016

New federal coal mine dust rules taking effect

(AP) — Underground coal mines will be increasing sampling for the dust that causes breathing problems and black lung disease under a new federal rule taking effect Monday.

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration is requiring coal operators to increase the number of air samples taken in underground mines.

The agency also will require miners working in the dustiest underground conditions to wear personal devices that give real-time readings on air quality.

Joe Main, who heads the mine safety agency, says the key to curbing breathable dust in the mines is increasing the number of samples taken by mine operators.

Black lung has no cure and can cause significant breathing problems, degrade movement and lead to an early death.