Free black lung for working, retired coal miners in East Texas

Free black lung for working, retired coal miners in East Texas

LONGVIEW (KYTX) - Whether mining it underground or on the surface like you find in East Texas, Anita Wolfe knows coal. A friend from high school needed a double-lung transplant at age 60, but he died four months later.

She's seen black lung disease in her own family. "I don't want to see miners suffer from the devastating lung of black disease," Wolfe says.

But for thousands of East Texas miners from Mount Pleasant to Henderson, every touch of coal makes the disease more possible.

Today, Wolfe's team with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health was in Carthage giving free screenings to any working or retired coal miner.

"You could have worked in a mine one day and still come to the truck,"  she says, adding that this screening -- x-rays, lung capacity check , and more -- would cost about 500 dollars at a doctor's office or clinic.

And results are confidential. It's a free screening to prevent damage from a disease that's killed at least 16 thousand Americans since 1995.

"I know what I'm talking about. I'm a third-generation coal miner's daughter. My daddy died from black lung disease, and it's not a disease I want to see anybody suffer from," Wolfe says.

The NIOSH truck will be at in Longview from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Monday, May 5, and Tuesday, May 6, at Homewood Suites, at 205 Spur 63 -- and at the Henderson Civic Center on Texas Highway 64 on Wednesday, from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.


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