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BLACK LUNG DISEASE

 In January of 2019 I was assigned by National Public Radio (NPR) to photograph a group of former coal miners who suffer from Coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP) more commonly known as ‘Black Lung Disease’ a condition of the lungs that results from years working in coal mines and inhaling coal dust. The condition has been known for decades and attempts have been made to combat this by federal safety regulations on mining companies to require workers use dust masks, however it has come to light that many of these companies neglected to enforce these policies. In Kentucky, West Virginia, and Virginia, the rate of Black Lung Disease is still on the rise and now many coal workers find themselves on their own trying to figure out how to deal with the illness.