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Study Syllabus for Classification of Radiographs of Pneumoconioses



A major role of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act, is to conduct research and service programs in an effort to detect and prevent respiratory impairment and disability in coal workers. One manner in which this responsibility has been carried out is through the administration of a health surveillance program for coal miners, including periodic chest radiographs. To facilitate the identification of physicians who could provide accurate and precise interpretations of chest radiographs according to the International Labour Office (ILO) Classification system, NIOSH, in cooperation with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, developed a proficiency examination in 1972. This examination was revised in 1976, 1980 and 2002 to conform to changes in the ILO Classification system, and in 2018, to align with digital radiograph technology.

Physicians planning to take the latest proficiency examination are encouraged to utilize this self-study syllabus as a valuable resource. Although completion of the syllabus is not required prior to sitting for the proficiency examination, its use, or some other means of study, is highly recommended for physicians who do not regularly use the ILO Classification system and who plan to interpret digitally-acquired chest radiographs of individuals exposed to dusts in an occupational setting.

Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program
Surveillance Branch – Respiratory Health Division
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
(304) 285-5724