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Mine Safety Chief Urged to Cut Silica Limit to Stem Black Lung

June 20, 2019, 8:15 PM

The Trump administration’s top mine safety official declined to say if silica exposure limits should be lowered amid pressure from House Democrats to address rising levels of black lung disease in former coal miners.

The issue was addressed June 20 at a hearing of the House Education and Labor Committee’s Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, where Democratic lawmakers expressed concern that, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a federal research agency, and outside scientists, cases of black lung disease and its worst form, progressive massive fibrosis, are increasing.

“This is a health epidemic, and we need to ...