Deep Inside Mountains, Work Is Getting Much More Dangerous – by Drew A. Harris (New York Times – August 2, 2023)

Drew Harris is the medical director of Stone Mountain Health Services black lung program and an associate professor of pulmonary and critical-care medicine at the University of Virginia.

As a high school baseball star, Denver Hoskins led Kentucky in home runs and was invited to try out for the Cincinnati Reds. But when his father got sick (and later died) from black lung, a disease caused by inhaling mineral dust, the younger Mr. Hoskins gave up his Division I college scholarship offer to support his family.

Following in his father’s footsteps, he went to work as a coal miner. By the age of 44, Mr. Hoskins was diagnosed with his own case of the most severe form of black lung. He now breathes from an oxygen tank at night and watches his son’s batting practice from the sidelines.

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Coal miners would be protected from black lung disease under proposed silica rule – by Robert Benincasa (Georgia Public Broadcasting – July 5, 2023)

The Labor Department is proposing a new rule limiting miners’ exposure to silica — a toxic dust created by cutting into rock that has been linked to a recent epidemic of severe black lung disease among coal miners.

“The purpose of this proposed rule is simple: prevent more miners from suffering from debilitating and deadly occupational illnesses by reducing their exposure to silica dust,” Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health Chris Williamson said in a statement. The move comes after decades of regulatory inaction highlighted in an NPR/FRONTLINE investigation in 2018.

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Workers in construction, mining most impacted by opioid-related harm: research – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – June 30, 2023)

Findings are part of the ongoing research of Opioid-related Harms Among Ontario Workers study

Previously injured workers in sectors including construction, mining and forestry are more likely to end up in the emergency room or to be hospitalized due to opioid-related harm than workers in other sectors in Ontario.

That’s according to findings from Opioid-related Harms Among Ontario Workers, an ongoing research project being conducted by the Institute for Work & Health and the Occupational Cancer Research Centre.

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‘Movement’ detected at South African mine where dozens suspected dead, but no search operation yet – by Gerald Imray (National Post/Associated Press – June 27, 2023)

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — South African authorities have detected “movement” underground at a shuttered gold mine where they believe at least 31 illegal miners died in a suspected gas explosion last month, raising the very slim possibility that there may be survivors, officials said.

Officials also said it’s likely that there were more illegal miners underground than initially thought and the death count will be higher than 31. But a search operation at the disused Virginia gold mine in the central city of Welkom has not yet been launched because of the dangerously high levels of methane gas still present in the mine, which means there could be more explosions.

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Honouring Sudbury’s fallen miners: ‘It’s a big price to pay for a pound of nickel’ – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – June 20, 2023)

Health and safety in the mining industry in Greater Sudbury has come a long way over the past 95 years, so much, in fact, that where fatal mining accidents were once commonplace, they are now a rarity, according to a retired electrician at Falconbridge Limited.

“Since 1929, 100 men lost their lives,” Tom Rannelli said at the 39th-annual Workers’ Memorial Day service held at the Royal Canadian Legion branch in Falconbridge on Tuesday. “That’s approximately one a year. That’s just at Falconbridge.

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Feds are raising awareness about black lung disease in Wyoming coal miners – by Caitlan Tan (Wyoming Public Radio – June 14, 2023)

According to the Northwest Community Action Programs (NOWCAP) Black Lung Clinic, more people in Wyoming likely have black lung disease than is actually reported, and a federal event this week is trying to raise awareness.

Black lung disease comes from inhaling coal dust. It is incurable, as it chars the lungs – making breathing extremely difficult. It is a progressive disease, meaning it gets worse with time. Often, miners will not realize they have the disease until retiring from the mines.

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Blood Diamonds: The Grim Fate of Miners in Panna’s Diamond Industry – by Akansha Deshmukh ( – April 23, 2023)

Qrius | News, Explained

Panna district, renowned for its diamond mines and dubbed ‘Heera Nagri’ (city of diamonds) by many, belies its affluent reputation upon closer inspection.

Despite its population of over a million individuals spanning 9 tehsils and 1033 villages according to the 2011 census, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj listed Panna among the 250 most underdeveloped districts in India.

Panna ranks a dismal 41st out of 45 districts in Madhya Pradesh’s human development index (HDI). It is also among its five poorest districts, receiving funding from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF), which allocates funds to districts facing significant obstacles to progress.

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Reporter’s notebook: Covering the 1980 Val d’Or mine tragedy – by Len Gillis ( – May 24, 2023)

The Belmoral gold mine in Val d’Or experienced a collapse that sent more than a million gallons of water, sediment and slime rushing into the underground workings — and claimed the life of eight miners. reporter Len Gillis was a CFCL TV reporter in Timmins at the time and he recalls the day

I didn’t know what the urgency was at the time but CFCL news director Jim Prince said to grab as much camera gear as I could carry and to bring half a dozen new video tapes. I was just coming in to work at the news office at CFCL TV in Timmins. Jim was busy on the phone trying to charter a plane. That raised my eyebrows real fast.

Camera, video recorder, tripod and tapes. That’s a lot of equipment to carry on a plane. When Jim got off the phone, he said I had to get over to the Northern Quebec mining city of Val d’Or. It was May 21, 1980, the morning after the first ever Quebec separation referendum.

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[Coal Mining] In the dark – by Greg Mercer (Globe and Mail – April 28, 2023)

There’s a small resurgence in Canadian coal mining, but with limited data and testing, compensation boards are ill-prepared for the harm to workers’ lungs

It’s deathly quiet this far underground, except for two things: the steady drip of water, echoing down the dark mine shaft, and the rattle from deep inside Wish Donovan’s chest.

Mr. Donovan, a former Nova Scotia coal miner who spent most of his life below the surface, is used to both sounds. Water is everywhere down here, and so are the constant reminders that his lungs are slowly choking him. At 79, he understands that pneumoconiosis – better known as black lung, an incurable and often fatal sickness – is just a part of life for an old miner.

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Arsenic in the air, fear and anger on the ground – by Eric Andrew-Gee (Globe and Mail – January 23, 2023)

As research shows carcinogens in their children’s bodies, people in Rouyn-Noranda are demanding more loudly that the local copper smelter – long exempt from provincial emissions rules – should clean up its act

Ethan Valois is eight now, and the arsenic levels in his body have started to come down. He and his parents live in Rouyn-Noranda, Que., home to a copper smelter that emits the known carcinogen at levels about 30 times higher than the provincial limit.

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USW: Canada lags protecting miners from diesel particulate – by Len Gillis ( – December 11, 2022)

Canada allows miners to be breathe more diesel particulate — much more — than the U.S. EU, or Australia, so Steelworkers Local 6500 launch campaign to push for much lower exposure limit

United Steelworkers Local 6500 and several industrial health advocates in Sudbury have launched a new campaign to clear the air and make it easier to breathe in underground mines.

The effort is aimed at reducing the amount of allowable diesel particulate that exposes thousands of miners to carcinogenic levels of particulates in the mining industry.

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‘We are truly sorry’: Ontario apologizes for role in McIntyre Powder experiment – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – November 30, 2022)

Province acknowledges its role in debunked practice during Nov. 30 delivery in Legislative Assembly

With miners and family members looking on, the Province of Ontario officially apologized Wednesday for its role in exposing underground hard rock miners to aluminum dust during their work in Northern Ontario over a span of nearly four decades.

The Nov. 30 address delivered on a promise House Leader Paul Calandra made last spring that the province would acknowledge its failure to protect miners who were forced to inhale McIntyre Powder as a condition of employment — a practice that was endorsed by the government of the day and later proven to be not only useless, but harmful.

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Toxic Towns: Don’t hold your breath – by Malone Mullin (CBC News Interactives – November 28, 2022)

In Baie Verte, N.L., a mine that once brought prosperity now symbolizes pain, suffering and death. Nobody knows how to get rid of it.

This is Part I of a three-part series on contaminated sites in Newfoundland and Labrador.

In Émile Zola’s 1885 novel Germinal, a French mining town, filled with families dependent on coal, is plotting a strike. It’s not an idyllic existence, living in 19th-century Montsou. Workers and their families sleep in shacks, eat mostly bread and rarely embrace leisure.

Eventually, they’re consumed by the massive beast whose tendrils reach deep underground. The mine, named Le Voreux, holds such sway over the townspeople’s lives that it transforms into a character in itself; figuratively speaking, by the end of the book, it eats its servants alive.

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Ontario to apologize to miners forced to use McIntyre Powder – by Len Gillis (Northern Ontario Business – November 9, 2022)

Sudbury MPP Jamie West wins agreement from Ontario Legislature to apologize to miners who were forced to inhale McIntyre Powder as part of their job

At the end of this month, the Ontario legislature is expected to become united for a few moments as all members of all parties at Queen’s Park will offer an apology to a select group of miners, their widows and their families.

On Nov. 8, Sudbury MPP Jamie West held a news conference at the Miners’ Memorial in Bell Park to announce the Ontario legislature would offer a formal apology to a generation of miners who were forced to inhale a substance called McIntyre Powder, a substance that new research shows caused some of those miners to develop Parkinson’s disease.

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Death toll rises to 41 in Turkey coal mine explosion – by MEHMET GUZEL and ZEYNEP BILGINSOY (ABC News/Associated Press – October 15, 2022)

AMASRA, Turkey — Funerals for miners killed in a coal mine explosion in northern Turkey began Saturday as officials raised the death toll to at least 41 people.

Desperate relatives had waited all night in the cold outside the state-owned Turkish Hard Coal Enterprise’s (TTK) mine in the town of Amasra, in the Black Sea coastal province of Bartin, hoping for news. There were 110 miners working several hundred meters below ground at the time of the explosion on Friday evening.

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