Chinese coal workers face the blight of black lung.

The total number of Chinese black lung cases could be up to six million.

While the deer (photo) nibble on our garden’s sweet grasses, and fill their lungs with the world’s freshest air in County Clare, Chinese miners are suffering pneumoconiosis – black lung.

It officially rose sevenfold from 2005 to 2013 – well, China is the world’s biggest producer, consumer, and importer of coal.

While the health effects associated with air pollution from coal-fired power plants have been well documented due to their high visibility throughout China’s urban hubs, the even more acute hazards of working in the mines have grabbed less attention.

The Wall Street Journal shed some light on the growing blight of black lung for Chinese coal miners – according to official data – China’s diagnoses of black lung, pneumoconiosis, rose sevenfold from 2005 to 2013, to a total of about 750,000 and an annual average increase of 35%.

This number is probably an enormous understatement, explains Wang Keqin, founder of the organization Love Save Pneumoconiosis.

He claims that the true number of black lung cases could be close to six million as up to 90 percent of China’s coal miners don’t have labor contracts that would qualify them for official health survey.

Maybe China, being so rich with so much military spending, the Chinese leaders could send those coal workers here to County Clare for fresh air.

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