Coal workers do, because of the fine coal dust that gets into their lungs during mining. Normal kinds of casual exposure are not likely to cause sickness, though others may have more information about possibilities.
Yes coal can be very hazardous to your health. Coal contains; Nitrogen Oxides – a fine soot that can lead to asthma and other respiratory problems, Mercury – we all know that isn’t good for us, sulfur dioxide – also leads to respiratory problems and carbon dioxide – doesn’t directly harm human health but is a greenhouse gas. It’s nasty stuff and communities located next to coal power plants are proven to have higher rates of asthma and death.
Many modern coal miners still die from Black Lung disease, especially in areas of Eastern Kentucky, with around 400 coal miners dying every year. The disease effects about 2.8% of workers and is caused by constant inhalation of coal dust. Some- about .2% – have scarring on the lungs from breathing the harmful substance. One miner describes throwing up black dust because of his constant exposure.
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