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Crime Former Coal Mine Safety Director Testifies He Cheated Dust Readings, Raising Black Lung Risk

00:40  16 november  2021
00:40  16 november  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

Former coal company execs to go on trial for skirting rules

  Former coal company execs to go on trial for skirting rules LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A group of former coal company officials will go on trial in Kentucky next week for allegedly skirting federal rules meant to reduce deadly dust in underground mines. The four men, who worked for now-bankrupt Armstrong Coal, ordered workers at two Kentucky mines to rig dust-monitoring equipment to pass air quality tests, federal prosecutors said. The inhaling of dusty air in mines can lead to an incurable and fatal disease called pneumoconiosis, or black lung, which has killed tens of thousands of coal miners.

Coal mining remains a sizable industry, with millions of working and retired coal miners worldwide. This article provides an update on recent advances in the understanding of respiratory health issues in coal miners and focuses on the spectrum of disease caused by inhalation of coal mine dust , termed coal In addition to the historical interstitial lung diseases ( coal worker's pneumoconiosis, silicosis, and mixed dust pneumoconiosis), coal miners are at risk for dust -related diffuse fibrosis (DDF) and chronic airway diseases including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Recent recognition of rapidly

He thought he would be a miner his whole life and then the mines started cutting back so the union went on strike for a long time. Then the mine went into a form of bankruptcy and fought with the union over the pension fund and healthcare promises. Based on the troubling results, the researchers are calling for more mental health resources and treatment for current and former miners. They also are urging further study of potential contributors to the problem, including social determinants of health, substance use and workplace safety .

A former coal mine safety director admitted he tried to cheat underground mine safety rules in a Louisville federal court on Monday, as four men on trial are accused of ordering workers to skirt the dust sampling regulations.

A former coal mine safety director admitted he tried to cheat underground mine safety rules in a Louisville federal court on Monday, as four men on trial are accused of ordering workers to skirt the dust sampling regulations. Bonginkosi Mhlangas axe pick gets stuck to the wall of coal at the abandoned Goldview coal mine in Ermelo, South Africa, on April 20, 2021. © Emmanuel Croset/Getty Images A former coal mine safety director admitted he tried to cheat underground mine safety rules in a Louisville federal court on Monday, as four men on trial are accused of ordering workers to skirt the dust sampling regulations. Bonginkosi Mhlangas axe pick gets stuck to the wall of coal at the abandoned Goldview coal mine in Ermelo, South Africa, on April 20, 2021.

Federal prosecutors ended their case against four former coal company executives after Ron Ivy, former safety director at Armstrong's Kronos mine, testified that a senior-level Armstrong official, Glendal Hardison, told him and two other safety officials to make sure the mine's dust pumps were reading at the desired range.

Equilibrium/ Sustainability — Tree alive 'when Jesus was on Earth' threatened by rising seas

  Equilibrium/ Sustainability — Tree alive 'when Jesus was on Earth' threatened by rising seas Today is Monday. Welcome to Equilibrium, a newsletter that tracks the growing global battle over the future of sustainability. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup. Rising seas are pushing inland toward the ancient trees of coastal North Carolina's Three Sisters swamp, where one bald cypress has stood above the Black River since at least 605 B.C., according to The Guardian. "They were here when Jesus was on Earth," one resident toldRising seas are pushing inland toward the ancient trees of coastal North Carolina's Three Sisters swamp, where one bald cypress has stood above the Black River since at least 605 B.C., according to The Guardian.

Eight former supervisors and safety officials for Kentucky coal mines were indicted Wednesday on charges that they lied to or misled federal regulators about the amount of harmful coal dust workers were exposed to. Russell Coleman, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Kentucky, said that officials at now-defunct Armstrong Coal routinely submitted phony records to the Mine Safety and Health Administration in an effort to downplay the amount of By doing so, the company would have concealed the true risk of its miners developing pneumoconiosis, better known as black lung disease.

Objective: Exposure to coal dust can cause interstitial lung disease (ILD), but whether this is due to pure coal or to the contents of quartz in coal is less clear. Here, we systematically reviewed the relation between 'pure coal ' and ILD. Methods: In a systematic review based on PRISMA criteria 2945 articles were identified. Keywords: Mining ; coal dust ; coal workers’ pneumoconiosis; interstitial lung disease; non-quartz coal dust ; quartz. Publication types. Review.

Ivy said they skirted the rules by moving the pumps in cleaner parts of the mine to lower the dust readings. Ivy said of Hardison, who was in charge of all of Armstrong's western Kentucky mines, "it was his mines, he ran them his way."

Federal dust regulations in underground mines are meant to protect workers against dangerous levels of dust, which can contribute to a deadly and incurable disease known as black lung. The dust levels are tested by the pumps that are carried by workers and provide samples to test the amount of dust in the mines.

Prosecutors ended their case on Monday after Ivy and another witness testified. Defendants will have a chance to present witnesses beginning on Tuesday.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

Can world's climate target and India's development coexist?

  Can world's climate target and India's development coexist? GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — India faces a difficult choice that will have consequences for the world. No country’s energy needs are expected to grow faster in coming decades than India's. Even under the most optimistic projections, a part of the demand must be met by dirty coal power -- a key source of heat trapping carbon emissions. India can either compromise on development needed to lift millions from poverty, or it can continue burning coal from the country's vast domestic reserves, said India’s top environmental official Rameshwar Prasad Gupta in New Delhi, the week before the United Nations climate summit at Glasgow, known as COP26.

Richard Schrickel, an environmental technician and safety supervisor, testified that he would replace “heavy” particulate samples with blank test cartridges that had been taken from shipping cartons and never exposed to mine atmosphere. He said they had been sent to the Mining Enforcement and “ My conscience got the best of me,” said Mr. Bobak, who described how actual test samples from mines were destroyed and new samples were rigged to give lower dust readings . A Federal grand jury indicted the company and eight officials and other employees in 1974. Two were convicted in early

Coal Mine Safety . PHOTODISC. By Harvey Black . As an example, he notes that in the major coal mining state of West Virginia, the south-eastern part of the state has little problem with acid mine drainage. Student Questions. Coal Mine Safety . 1. Describe the general process by which coal is formed. Content Reading Materials. National Science Education Content Standard Addressed.

Ivy said Hardison told him "the dust [reading] has got to come in and the [mine's] production has to stay up." Ivy testified earlier that the mine where he worked was filled with dusty air.

Ivy was originally charged with eight other defendants but reached a plea deal with prosecutors. Each of them were charged with conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government, a felony. Ivy pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor.

Hardison's attorney, Kent Wicker, asked Ivy if Hardison ever explicitly asked him to cheat the rules. Ivy said Hardison did not.

"Make the dust [pumps] come in doesn't necessarily mean to cheat, right?" Wicker said.

Ivy testified that the mine didn't have enough staff to comply with the dust rules and maintain desirable production levels.

The trial is a rare prosecution of coal company officials on criminal charges. Federal regulators typically issue fines and shut down mines when they find safety violations, but in this case, prosecutors allege that the men broke the law by conspiring to cheat the rules.

EXPLAINER: Why quitting coal is so hard

  EXPLAINER: Why quitting coal is so hard GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — In the run-up to the U.N. climate talks in Glasgow, host Britain announced one of its goals of the conference was to consign coal to history. That has turned out to be easier said that done. Even saying it — in writing — has turned out to be quite a challenge. Government negotiators in Glasgow have been writing and rewriting a paragraph that spells out that the world needs to phase out coal, along with fossil fuel subsidies, but doesn't set an end date.

During the past decade, coal dust and gas explosions have been the most two serious types of disasters in China, threatening the lives of miners and causing significant losses in terms of national property. Finally, these degrees of importance were sorted. According to the resulting order, the basic events with higher probabilities were determined to identify key hazards in the daily safety management of this particular coal mine . Moreover, effective measures for preventing gas and coal dust explosions were derived.

In coal mining , overexposure to respirable coal mine dust can lead to coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP). CWP is a lung disease that can be disabling and fatal in its most severe form. The passage of the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 established respirable dust exposure limits, dust sampling requirements for inspectors and mine operators, a voluntary x-ray surveillance program to identify CWP in underground coal miners, and a benefits program to provide compensation to affected workers and their families.

Armstrong went bankrupt in 2017. Prosecutors said the incidents occurred at the Kronos and Parkway mines between 2013 and 2015.

Attorneys for the former coal company officials have argued throughout the trial that none of the men on trial were directly involved in manipulating readings on the pumps.

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Coal, an unavoidable pollutant in the harsh Afghan winter .
At a Kabul market, coal is arriving by the tonne as the winter cold sets in. "If we had electricity and gas, people wouldn't use coal," says one of the market traders, Abdullah Rahimi. None of Rahimi's 40 or so employees seems to have escaped the black dust that has crept deep into the wrinkles of the older workers. It is already well established under the nails of the younger staff, and is probably inside their bronchial tubes as well, though some are not yet 15 years old.They throw blocks of coal to each other, push wheelbarrows loaded with bags, make piles with shovels, and load customers' vehicles.

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