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Epidemiologic Surveillance by a State Health Department using the ILO Classification System for Pneumoconioses.

Schirmer-J; Anderson-HA; Haskins-L; Hanrahan-L; Olson-J
NIOSH 1990 Sep:807-812
An epidemiologic surveillance system for pneumoconiosis based on the ILO classification system for small radiographic opacities was discussed. The program was set up by the Wisconsin State Health Department in October 1985 with goals of providing information about pneumoconiosis to the state's industrial workers, which account for around 28% of the working population, and supporting diagnostic evaluations by physicians. All workers whose first dust exposure was 15 or more years ago were eligible to participate in the program. Participants were required to submit a chest X-ray and a brief occupational exposure history. The X-ray films were read by a certified B-reader experienced in using the ILO classification system. From November 1985 to July 1988, 1124 X-ray films were submitted. Of these, 233 (21%) had abnormalities indicative of pneumoconiosis. A total of 663 (59%) were normal and 16% showed abnormalities not attributable to dust exposure. Approximately 4% of the films were unreadable. The average detection rate of new cases of pneumoconiosis and other dust related diseases by the program was 86 per year. This was significantly higher than the number of cases detected by more traditional means such as death certificates or disability compensation awards. The authors conclude that the surveillance program has demonstrated some potential for preventing pneumoconiosis and other dust related diseases. Obtaining better participation, the lack of complete occupational histories, and poor film quality have been persistent problems.
Chest-X-rays; Lung-disorders; Dust-exposure; Surveillance-programs; Epidemiology; Occupational-exposure; Medical-screening; Disease-prevention;
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings;
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
(NIOSH) 90-108
Source Name
Proceedings of the VIIth International Pneumoconioses Conference