Radiographic Screening and B Readers

About Radiographic Screening and B Readers

Key points

  • Chest radiographs, also known as chest x-rays, are radiographic images taken of the chest.
  • Digital chest radiographs are used to help diagnose conditions affecting the lungs and for medical screening and surveillance.
  • A B Reader is a physician trained and certified to classify chest x-ray findings of pneumoconiosis.
A chest x-ray.


Chest radiography helps to Identify workers with dust-induced lung diseases called pneumoconioses early in the course of the disease. Timely interventions to reduce or eliminate further dust exposure can lower the chances of disease progression.

Radiographic images of workers exposed to mineral dust are classified by B Readers according to the International Labour Office (ILO) International Classification of Radiographs of Pneumoconioses. The ILO classification is the most widely used standardized procedure to evaluate for presence and severity of pneumoconiosis in chest images. Data from classifications are used by government programs and public health agencies world-wide to characterize the appearance and epidemiology of pneumoconiosis.

Guidelines for using chest radiographs

Using any technology requires ongoing attention to personnel, equipment, and procedures to maximize performance. Application of Digital Radiography for the Detection and Classification of Pneumoconiosis provides information and recommendations on obtaining digital images for classifying findings of pneumoconiosis.