ATHENS, OH – Today, two members of U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) staff visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) mobile black lung screening unit in Athens. The CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) provided these screenings for miners across Southeast Ohio. NIOSH’s Mobile Occupational Safety and Health Unit set up at various locations across the region over the last two weeks, and the screenings concluded with the Athens mobile clinic today. Brown encouraged miners across Southeast Ohio to stop by and get a free health exam that included a chest radiograph, a breathing test and blood pressure screening.
“After years of backbreaking and dangerous work, Ohio miners often face long-term health risks,” said Brown. “These screenings help miners get the information they need to prevent and manage black lung.”
Ohio miners were provided screenings in Harrison, Tuscarawus, Guernsey, Muskingum, Monroe, Perry, and Athens Counties over the last two weeks.
Brown has been fighting to protect Ohio miners’ safety and healthcare. He has introduced legislation to ensure miners affected by Black Lung receive the benefits they deserve.
In December, Brown led his colleagues in urging Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta to protect mine safety and miners’ health by protecting a recent rule aimed at limiting miners’ exposure to respirable coal mine dust. This came after the rule was listed among a number of rules to be re-examined for elimination.
Brown has also conducted roundtables and met with retired Ohio miners, as he has been fighting to protect their hard-earned healthcare coverage and retirement security. In January, Brown reintroduced his bipartisan bill, the Miners Protection Act, with U.S. Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH), Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). Their bill would address the shortfall in the United Mineworkers of America (UMWA) 1974 pension plan and make healthcare coverage permanent for retirees. Brown was able to secure his provision in the government spending bill in May 2017.