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UMWA in full support of proposed respirable dust regulations

October 14, 2010
For immediate release?: 

(TRIANGLE, VA.)  United Mine Workers of America International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:

“The proposed regulations issued today by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) regarding respirable coal dust standards will, if followed by the mine operators and enforced by the agency, be a tremendous step forward for coal miners’ long-term health.

“We have long known that the only way to prevent black lung is to reduce miners’ exposure to respirable coal dust. We have the technology and the means to do that. The only thing we have lacked–until now–was a determination by MSHA that this was a problem which needed to be addressed.

“For far too long, the health consequences for those who spent a lifetime in the nation’s coal mines were of  no consequence to their employers. There were no rules, no regulations whatsoever to keep miners safer and healthier.

“After much struggle, pain, and sorrow, we have been able to put most of that legacy behind us. This rule, once implemented and enforced, will move us yet one more step away from that shameful past.

“In the name of the more than 100,000 who have been struck down by black lung in the last century, the UMWA supports this proposed rule and we will do all we can to see that it goes into effect.”

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