Coal miner Jack Horne worked 80 hours a week. 'Probably the biggest part of my health problems was because we stayed there a lot,' says Horne, who has black lung after two decades in the mines. Some miners would leave work with their faces 'completely black' from the dust. 'You can't tell me that that's not in his lung,' he says. 'It is like somebody was holding you underwater till you thought you was going to drown.'
Harold Dotson spent 23 years underground as a roof bolter, installing roof supports in the mine. 'Any fool knows you stick some kind of machine ... in rock and coal, there's gonna be dust,' he said, diagnosed with black lung in 2013. Dotson says some of the mining companies he worked for didn't care about the miners. 'They don't care if you live or die, that's the truth of it.'