Medicine: For Stiffened Lungs

Doctors never get rich by treating silicosis. A poor man's disease, silicosis hits miners and other workers in dusty places. In remote mining valleys, in slums near dust-ridden factories, the victims drag out their lives, struggling for each breath. Silicosis is by no means rare. It causes more than 20% of the "natural deaths" among the anthracite miners of Pennsylvania. In eight hard-coal counties, there are 1,000 new cases a year. But little has been done thus far to check or cure the disease.

If miners are poor individually, collectively they are rich. Last...

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