Rockefeller Hosts Black Lung Forum in Bluefield

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (AP) -- Scientists, doctors and two women who lost their husbands to black lung disease are headed to Bluefield for a roundtable discussion with Sen. Jay Rockefeller.

The event Thursday afternoon will focus on hurdles facing both people suffering from the disease and their survivors.

Speakers include Ruth Bishop and Terry Fike, who lost their husbands to black lung.

Also expected are epidemiologist Scott Laney of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Morgantown, public health analyst Anita Wolfe of the Coal Workers' Health Surveillance Program and miner Joe Massie.

Massie is president of the National Black Lung Association.

Federal statistics show more than 9,600 coal miners died of black lung nationwide between 1996 and 2005.

Pennsylvania had the highest number of deaths and West Virginia had the second highest.

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