|Description:||This historic image provided by the Center for Disease Control's (CDC), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), depicted two men inside a coal mine, crouched down low beneath the ceiling support beams. Atop each man’s head, he wore a headlamp to light his way through the mine’s small confines. Neither man was wearing what would now be considered as an appropriate filtered breathing device. Mining coal, especially under circumstances such as these close quarters, facilitated coal dust inhalation, thereby, predisposing miners to the long-term negative health effects of this profession such as “black lung disease”, or “coal-workers’ pneumoconiosis” (CWP). Today, the Federal government’s stringent regulations on the level of coal dust permissible in the air of a coal mine, and the requisite use of filtered breathing devices, has dramatically lowered the number of cases of black lung disease.|
The NIOSH Historic Photo Collection began as the “picture file” of the Industrial Hygiene Division of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), c. 1930-1960. It is a unique collection of mid-20th Century images of American workers and workplaces and documents occupational safety and health research of that era. The collection consists of approximately 1,000 original photographs and schematic drawings.