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The Editors

Coal Harms Miners, Too

After years of decline, a deadly occupational hazard is making a comeback.

Retired miner, black lung victim.

Retired miner, black lung victim.

Photographer: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

By now, black lung disease was supposed to have mostly gone away. The coal industry was supposed to have improved air quality in the mines enough to prevent miners from inhaling the coal dust that inflames, stiffens and blackens their lungs. In fact, the incidence of this deadly and incurable disease is rising.

Bear this in mind the next time President Donald Trump says coal is “clean” or “beautiful,” and moves to encourage use of the world’s dirtiest fuel.