Here is something I did not know.
The accident rate in mines has continued to decline, but this article says
that more eastern miners are coming down with black lung disease these
days, because there is less coal and it is more difficult to extract.
"Black lung cases in Appalachia coal miners in those three clinics had
skyrocketed. The disease was more severe. And coal miners were dying much
younger than they had been two decades ago. . . .
The most likely causes are the miners’ working longer hours and their
exposure to deadlier silica dust from cutting into rock to extract coal
from thinner, harder-to-reach seams. The days of mining for readily
available coal are long gone. It’s more difficult, and seemingly more
costly to miners’ health, to extract coal in Appalachia now."