By Ben Geman - 08/06/13 01:46 PM EDT
Rockefeller’s letter cites National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health data showing that progress combating black lung disease has stopped and that the illness “continues to inflict great harm on our miners, their families and communities.”
According to the letter, 17 of 24 autopsies performed after the fatal 2010 Upper Big Branch mine explosion showed black lung disease in the victims, while four others showed a lung condition associated with the disease.
“This finding was shocking and provides a clear example of what the data had already been telling us, that this disease is back and will not go away unless we make it a priority and act,” the letter states.
The Charleston Gazette has much more on the letter and the regulations here.