MSHA announced today that approximately 99 percent of the respirable coal mine dust samples collected from April 1, 2016, through June 30, 2016, were in compliance with the agency’s coal mine dust standards. In 2014, the department published a final rule that revised the dust-sampling program with more stringent standards. The 2014 rule also included requirements for more frequent sampling of the mine air and use of a new sampling device and other reforms.

“These positive results are due to the extraordinary efforts of MSHA and industry working to clean up the air that miners breathe and successfully implement the critical respirable dust rule to protect miners from a disease that has claimed tens of thousands of lives,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. “The nation’s coal miners are better protected from debilitating and deadly black lung disease than ever before, but we still have much more work to do to prevent black lung so that miners can spend a career as a miner and not fear the disease.”

Read the full MSHA announcement here.