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NIOSH Testimony on Coal Workers' Pneumoconiosis by J. D. Millar, July 27, 1981.

NIOSH 1981 Jul:9 pages
This testimony before the Subcommittee on Oversight of the House Committee on Ways and Means summarized the results of NIOSH research and medical surveillance on coal workers' pneumoconiosis and black lung. NIOSH has conducted both epidemiologic and laboratory research on respiratory diseases among coal miners. Coal workers' pneumoconiosis is a distinct disease characterized by the development of coal macules, coal nodules and progressive massive fibrosis which results from deposition of coal mine dust in the lung and the relation of the lung to that dust. Mortality studies showed clearly that nonmalignant respiratory disease and accidents were increased among coal miners. An increase of lung cancer has not been documented. The National Coal Workers' Health Surveillance Program, conducted by NIOSH, provided each new miner with an initial and periodic free medical examination. As the surveillance program relied only on the chest X-ray, it was necessary to rely on the National Study of Coal Workers' Pneumoconiosis to estimate the prevalence of bronchitis and persistent breathlessness and lung function impairment. Two fronts were identified from which to attack the prevalence of lung disease among coal miners: the reduction of coal dust exposure and the reduction of cigarette smoking.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Testimony; Millar-J-D; Respiratory-system-disorders; Miners; Coal-mining; Mining-industry; Underground-mining; Lung-irritants; Mineral-dusts;
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Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; Disease and Injury; Respiratory-system-disorders;
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NIOSH, 9 pages
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division