Dust to Dust

Together we can send Black Lung back to last century by forcing mining companies to reduce dust levels in mines and complete proper health checks for mining workers.

It starts with a shortness of the breath. Then, as the masses of coal dust build up and start to attack the lung tissue, the coalminer is left coughing up blood. Eventually, the disease will kill them. 

Black Lung disease, otherwise known was coalminers pneumoconiosis, was eradicated in Australia decades ago. Increased safety standards, combined with an awareness of the risks, meant that this was a workplace risk that had been, until recently negated. In November 2015, however, Percy Verrall became the first Australian in 30 years to be diagnosed with the disease.

What has followed has been a staggering insight into the multiple failures that allowed black lung disease to return: mining companies operating at unsafe dust levels, medical practitioners not trained to identify the disease, and a lack of proper health checks for workers in one of our most dangerous industries. 

To date, 14 miners have been confirmed to have the disease - and that number is expected to rise. 

Read more about Percy's story at Dust to Dust: Make Black Lung history.

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