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Respiratory status of surface coal miners in the United States.
Fairman RP; O'Brien RJ; Swecker S; Amandus HE; Shoub EP
Arch Environ Health 1977 Sep; 32(5):211-215
The United States Public Health Service examined 1,438 surface coal miners to determine the prevalence of coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP), chronic bronchitis, and ventilatory impairment among them. Four percent (fifty-nine individuals) showed some roentgenographic evidence of pneumoconiosis, but only seven miners had films interpreted as CWP of category 2 or greater (according to the UICC/Cincinnati classification system). Moreover, most of the affected miners had worked in underground coal mines for prolonged periods. Significant decrements in pulmonary function to increasing exposure to surface mine dust were demonstrated only in the forced vital capacity of smokers. Increased prevalence of chronic bronchitis with increasing exposures was found in all smoking categories. However, significant airway obstruction was an uncommon finding (6.6 percent) in nonsmoking miners. Employment in surface mining was not likely to cause either the development of CWP or clinically significant respiratory impairment.
NIOSH-Author; Respiratory-system-disorders; Morbidity; Incidence; Respiratory-functions; Diagnostic-techniques; Diagnosis; Silicosis; Radiography; Time-dose-relationship; Hazards; Coal-dust
Issue of Publication
Archives of Environmental Health
Page last reviewed: December 4, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division