Telling my family's stories
At work you are covered with dust … You suck so much of it into your lungs that until you die you never stop spitting up coal dust. Some of you cough so hard you wonder if you have a lung left. Slowly you notice you are getting out of breath when you walk up a hill. On the job you stop more often to catch your breath. Finally, just walking across the room at home is an effort. … Call it miner’s asthma, silicosis, coal worker’s pneumoconiosis – that are all dust diseases with the same symptoms.
Lorin Kerr, occupational health specialist for a coal miner’s union in the 1960s.
Quoted in Coal-mining Safety in the Progressive Period: The Political Economy of Reform, by William Graebner