NBC Evening News for Tuesday, Apr 26, 1977
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(Studio) Brown lung disease affects textile workers and has no known cure. Some affected are forming groups to get medical compensation for affected workers.
REPORTER: John Chancellor
(No location given) Retired textile worker Lacey Wright of Greensboro, North Carolina, has disease; cause and symptoms noted. [WRIGHT - says breathing problems began in middle 1940's; cites disease's effect on activities.] [Burlington Inds. spokesperson Dr. Harold IMBUS - notes cotton dust is cause of problem.] State OSHA is responsible for inspecting textile plants to keep regulations enforced. During Watergate hearings, investigators uncovered Labor Department memo outlining national OSHA's use for political purposes in Richard Nixon's reelection campaign; memo specifically mentions withholding rulings with regard to cotton dust etc. Textile company execs.' contributions to campaign noted. Public interest group recently charged North Carolina's OSHA not doing job. Some textile companies have improved conditions on own, like Burlington company in its Gastonia, North Carolina, plant. Many workers don't know of disease and that they can get it. 1 of those was William Farmer, till Textile Workers Union and Brown Lung Association arranged examination. Farmer has worked at Cannon Mills at Cannapolis, North Carolina, for 24 years [WOMAN - administers test.] [MAN - tells Farmer he's breathing 62% of what he should.] If strict regulations not made and enforced brown lung could be 1 of most serious occupational diseases in US.
REPORTER: Floyd Kalber
(Studio) OSHA has proposed new standards; holds hearings in Washington, DC today. Ind. would have 7 years to meet standards.
REPORTER: David Brinkley