Black Lung Most Distinctive Cause of Death in WV, According to New Study

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Black Lung Disease is the most distinctive cause of death in West Virginia, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The “most distinctive” cause doesn’t necessarily mean high numbers. It’s a measure of causes of death that appear in some states and not in others.

It happens to a lot to coal miners because they inhale so much dust. There are two stages of Black Lung Disease – simple and complicated.

Dave Bounds was diagnosed with the disease after working 15 years in the West Virginia coal mines. He continued to work in the mines for 16 more years.

“Basically I’m trying to live with black lung in a way that I can. Black lung affects your breathing – your breathing apparatus just feels like your lungs are laying in somebody’s hands and they keep tightening them everyday,” Bounds said. “Just tighten them just a little bit more until they squeeze you down and you can’t breathe real good.”

After he was diagnosed, Dave said he didn’t expect to live much longer.

So far, Dave has lived with the disease for more than 30 years.

He says he’s hopeful he’ll have 10 more.

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