This film is part of Free

Dust - Miners' Disease

Dark shadows in miners' lungs and lives, as the threat of pneumoconiosis is made worse by changes to the benefits that compensate for its effects.

1973 28 mins


Call it what you will, pneumoconiosis or the miners' own folkloric name for the disease "The Dust", in the 1970s it was costing a miner's life every day. This TV investigation probes at a survey that questioned how disabling the early stages of the disease were, and the miners' fears of the impact on the compensation they received.

Though it was a national problem, South Wales was particularly plagued by "the miners' disease" - partly because many men started down the pit at such a young age. In the heart of Rhondda Fach (Little Rhondda) where much of this programme was filmed, the impact on a community dependent on the industry is clear - these are men gambling with their health and lives with little control of the stakes.