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BEIJING - Chinese authorities plan to investigate some state-owned mines in order to prevent the spread of pneumoconiosis, or "black lung disease," the State Administration of Coal Mine Safety said Thursday.
The administration has asked the China Occupational Safety and Health Association to conduct research on pneumoconiosis infections and dust monitoring in several state-owned mines from August to December.
The administration will examine coal miners' health records and monitor dust levels at their work sites, according to a circular released by the administration.
The research will be based on statistics collected from the day the mines went into operation to December 31, 2011, the administration said, adding that the research is intended to aid in the creation of regulations for dust levels and monitoring standards.
Pneumoconiosis is a major occupational disease in China. "Love Save Pneumoconiosis," a charitable foundation established to help treat migrant workers who have developed the disease, estimates that about 6 million farmers are affected by the disease.