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Am J Public Health. 2006 Feb;96(2):271-6. Epub 2005 Dec 27.

Weight of the evidence or wait for the evidence? Protecting underground miners from diesel particulate matter.

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  • 1Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, George Washington University, 2100 M Street NW, Suite 203, Washington, DC 20037, USA.


A coalition of mine operators has used a variety of tactics to obstruct scientific inquiry and impede public health action designed to protect underground miners from diesel particulate matter. These workers are exposed to the highest level of diesel particulate matter compared with any other occupational group. This case study profiles a decade-long saga of the Methane Awareness Resource Group Diesel Coalition to impede epidemiological studies on diesel exhaust undertaken by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the National Cancer Institute, and to derail a health standard promulgated by the Mine Safety and Health Administration. The case study highlights the coalition's mastery of legislative, judicial, and executive branch operations and the reaction of policymakers.

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