The screenings consist of physical exams, questionnaires, and chest X-rays, among other tests. Current miners are eligible for the Black Lung Clinic, while miners that worked in the uranium industry before 1972 are eligible for the Radiation and Exposure Screening and Education Program or RESEP. Other criteria apply.
Medical Director Dr. Cecile Rose says older miners are at a higher risk:
The ones who worked in the mining industry for a long period of time, and particularly back in the early days like the 50s, 60s, and even the early 70s when dust control measures were not as good they are now, that’s the group where we’re finding the most amount of disease.
Dr. Rose says around 40% of the people they test have abnormal results. The clinic is a part of National Jewish Health in Denver and receives federal funding to support detection of mining-related illnesses.
Screenings in Pueblo are scheduled for Thursday and Friday at the ParkWest Medical Complex.