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Coal workers' pneumoconiosis and exposure to other carbonaceous dusts.

Merchant JA; Taylor G; Hodous TK
Occupational respiratory diseases. Merchant JA, Bochlecke BA, Taylor G, eds. Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 86-102, 1986 Sep; :329-384
The literature on pneumoconiosis resulting from exposure to carbon (7440440) was reviewed. Occupational exposure to coal dusts occurs in a variety of industries, including: coal mining; granite mining and milling; steel and cast iron manufacturing; and printing, paper and paint manufacturing. The results of epidemiologic studies on the mortality and respiratory morbidity in exposed populations were summarized. The primary lesion of coal workers' pneumoconiosis, also known as "Black Lung", was the coal macule. Coal micronodules and nodules developed and in severe cases, massive consolidated lesions resulted in progressive massive fibrosis. There were no pathognomonic signs or symptoms of coal workers' pneumoconosis. Clinical manifestations and pulmonary function tests were the same as those of common nonoccupational lung diseases. Chest x-rays and a history of occupational exposure to carbonaceous dust were required to confirm the diagnosis of coal workers' pneumonconiosis. On chest x-ray, simple coal workers' pneumoconiosis was characterized by rounded opacities predominately in the upper lung zones. In progressive massive fibrosis, radiographic opacities varied greatly in size and shape. Typically, multiple irregular masses, predominately in the upper lung zones, migrated towards the hila by contraction of fibrotic tissue. No effective treatment was known for coal workers' pneumoconiosis. Government programs and standards for limiting dust exposure and medical surveillance were enacted as preventive measures, which may greatly reduce the prevalence of coal miners' pneumoconiosis. Areas in need of further research were identified.
Coal-dust; Occupational-exposure; Coal-miners; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Chest-X-rays; Humans; Legislation
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Merchant JA; Bochlecke BA; Taylor G
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Occupational respiratory diseases
Page last reviewed: February 11, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division