An estimated 9,000 to 11,000 pneumoconia cases have been confirmed in the United States in the past year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
These outbreaks are not caused by coal mining, however, and are not related to the coal industry.
The number of coal workers who have pneumoconias has increased in the U.S. in recent years.
The coal industry, which accounts for nearly a quarter of the country’s employment, is facing an estimated $15 billion in COVID-19 funding from the federal government, which was set to expire in 2018.
In addition to the increased pneumoconium numbers, the mining industry is also facing increased infection rates among its workers.
Coal mining companies face increased risk of COVID because coal has the highest rates of respiratory infections.
The CDC’s preliminary data shows that COVID has increased infections for more than 4,000 coal miners and their families since 2014, according the Associated Press.
More: The Associated Press report cites the report by the National Mining Association that shows that miners are dying from COVID from pneumonia and bronchitis at a rate nearly triple that of their non-mining counterparts.
Coal mines are also facing an increased risk due to a lack of adequate ventilation, respiratory illness among workers and the lack of a protective respirator to prevent exposure to the toxic dust.
The mining industry has faced several issues related to COVID.
In February 2018, the American Association of Mine Safety Engineers (AAMSE) announced a rule to ban ventilation devices on mining sites that have a greater than 25% mine dust load.
In 2018, a new federal regulation was issued requiring that mining operations have at least two ventilation systems in place, but not for coal mines with less than 50% of a mine’s dust load, according Toepfer.
In August 2018, EPA proposed rules for a COVID vaccine, which would require a manufacturer to submit an application to the EPA.
This vaccine would have been produced by AstraZeneca.