Coal miner Lee Hipshire in 1976, shortly after emerging from a mine in Logan County, W.Va., at the end of his shift. A few years later, Lee took early retirement because of pneumoconiosis, or black lung disease. He died at 57. Courtesy of Earl Dotter hide caption

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Courtesy of Earl Dotter

Coal miners are tested for black lung. Recently, the deadly disease has been discovered in younger miners and at more advanced stages. David Deal for NPR hide caption

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David Deal for NPR

Black-Lung Rule Loopholes Leave Miners Vulnerable

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Coal miner Lee Hipshire in 1976, shortly after emerging from a mine in Logan County, W.Va. at the end of his shift. At age 36, he had worked 26 years underground. A few years later, Lee took early retirement because of pneumoconiosis, or black lung disease. He died at 57. Courtesy of Earl Dotter hide caption

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Courtesy of Earl Dotter

Coal miners are tested for black lung at a clinic in West Virginia. David Deal for NPR hide caption

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David Deal for NPR

As Mine Protections Fail, Black Lung Cases Surge

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