Segments in this Video

Advanced Black Lung Resurgence (04:36)


NPR reporter Howard Berkes visits Danny Smith, 47, who mined for twelve years. He was diagnosed in 2012 and carries an oxygen tank with him as he drops off his daughter at school.

Living with Advanced Black Lung (03:15)

Coal miners are getting advanced respiratory disease more quickly and at a younger age. Greg Kelly, 54, mined for 31 years until his health declined. Despite his lower quality of life, he tries to spend time with his grandson.

Progressive Massive Fibrosis Epidemiology (03:04)

Berkes reports that one fifth of Appalachia coal miners may have respiratory disease. Concerned about advanced black lung cases in relatively young patients, Kentucky radiologist Brandon Crum took his findings to NIOSH.

Stone Mountain Respiratory Care Center (02:32)

NIOSH only considered PMF cases among working miners. NPR found 2,000 cases among unemployed miners across Appalachia. A Virginia clinic has nearly 800 advanced black lung cases alone; former director Ron Carson discusses their sacrifice for fellow Americans.

Extending Black Lung Life Expectancy (02:48)

Smith visits a pulmonary rehabilitation clinic for miners. Respiratory therapist Marcy Tate discusses mental health issues among patients. They reach peak capacity within six months; without rehabilitation, they will die soon.

Coal Mining Regulation (04:11)

In the 1960s, miners demanded government action on black lung in West Virginia; NIOSH regulations reduced disease rates. However, mining operations shifted to machine-cut rock that produces toxic silica dust. Recent regulations fail to impose specific silica exposure limits.

Limiting Coal Dust Overall (04:27)

Berkes interviews MSHA Chief of Health Greg Meikle at a West Virginia black lung conference. He defends regulations stating that coal dust is the main cause of PMF, rather than silica. The industry continues mining thin seams, knowing the health risks.

Regulatory Failure (03:14)

In a speech to West Virginia University alumni, MSHA head and former mining executive David Zatezalo calls for controlling silica dust. However, he says PMF causation is not yet established when Berkes attempts to interview him.

Sacrificing Life for Work (02:31)

It may take a decade to determine whether new MSHA regulations are effective against PMF. Smith feels both pride and regret from his mining career; he hopes to live to see his children graduate.

Counter-Terrorism Efforts in Yemen (03:41)

Hear an overview of the conflict between Iran-backed Houthis and a U.S. and Saudi-backed coalition. Journalist Safa Al Ahmad investigates the U.S. fight against ISIS and Al-Qaeda. She travels to Yakla village, where a Navy SEAL raid failed in 2017.

Raid on Yakla Village (05:19)

A Pentagon report says Navy SEALS attacked an Al-Qaeda headquarters. A tribal leader says there were no Al-Qaeda operatives; his tribe had been fighting the Houthis and working with the Yemeni Army. Most civilian victims were women and children.

Al-Qaeda in Yemen (02:26)

The U.S. carried out 176 drone strikes in Yemen during Trump's first two years. In Shabwa, Ahmad visits the family of a youth that had joined the terrorist organization. Many join for local conflicts, rather than for the global jihad.

Shabwa Drone Strike (02:21)

In January 2018, villagers set out in a car to rescue a young man from Al-Qaeda but were hit by missiles. His uncle Ali says two were Yemeni soldiers; he seeks U.S. military compensation for their deaths.

Raid on Atlan Village (06:23)

The Pentagon reports that seven terrorists were killed during a ground operation. Villagers describe U.S. soldiers attacking. Civilian victims include a 15-year-old Yemeni Army conscript trying to protect his family. Drone strikes persist in Yakla, traumatizing villagers.

Credits: Coal's Deadly Dust / Targeting Yemen (01:01)

Credits: Coal's Deadly Dust / Targeting Yemen

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Coal's Deadly Dust / Targeting Yemen

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FRONTLINE and NPR investigate the rise of severe black lung disease among coal miners, and the failure to respond. This joint investigation reveals the biggest disease clusters ever documented, and how the industry and the government failed to protect miners. Also in this two-part hour, FRONTLINE presents a report from Yemen.

Length: 54 minutes

Item#: BVL203084

Copyright date: ©2019

Closed Captioned

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