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Am J Public Health. 2003 Aug;93(8):1236-44.

The fox guarding the chicken coop: monitoring exposure to respirable coal mine dust, 1969-2000.

Author information

1
Advanced Technologies and Laboratories International, Inc, Germantown, MD 20874, USA. jweeks@atlintl.com

Abstract

Following passage of the Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969, underground coal mine operators were required to take air samples in order to monitor compliance with the exposure limit for respirable dust, a task essential for the prevention of pneumoconiosis among coal workers. Miners objected, claiming that having the mine operators perform this task was like "having the fox guard the chicken coop." This article is a historical narrative of mining industry corruption and of efforts to reform the program of monitoring exposure to coal mine dust. Several important themes common to the practice of occupational health are illustrated; most prominently, that employers should not be expected to regulate themselves.

PMID:
12893602
PMCID:
PMC1447944
DOI:
10.2105/ajph.93.8.1236
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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