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Occupational and environmental respiratory disease. Harber P, Schenker MB, Balmes JR, eds. St. Louis, MO: Mosby, 1995 Jul; :362-372
An overview of the uses, history, health effects, risk factors, regulation and control of coal was presented. Coal was defined as a carbonaceous material containing oxygen, hydrogen and sulfur. Coal dust was considered to consist of particles between 1 and 50 micrometers in diameter, with up to 40% noncoal material and approximately 5% silica (14808607). Five major diseases associated with coal exposure were described. Coal worker's pneumoconiosis (CWP) was defined as the deposition of dust in the lungs, characterized by the formation of macules and nodules. It was reported that the disease often progressed to progressive massive fibrosis (PMF). PMF consists of large lesions made up of dust, collagen, reticulin and dust engorged macrophages. Silicosis was reported to be the presence of silica nodules in the lung, commonly associated with the progression of CWP and PMF. Chronic airways obstruction was defined as reduced ventilatory function and chest symptoms. Emphysema was reported to involve destruction of lung tissue around dust deposits. Epidemiological studies indicated that important factors in the development of disease were the degree of mixed mine exposure and coal rank. Silica content was reported to be a factor of secondary importance. Ventilatory function was reported to decrease with increased dust exposure. Exposure limits were given for various regulatory agencies. Placement considerations were reviewed. Methods for control of exposure were laid out. The authors conclude that advances in control of coal mine dust related lung disease would greatly benefit the health of coal miners.
Coal-miners; Underground-miners; Mine-workers; Coal-dust; Lung-fibrosis; Dust-inhalation; Occupational-respiratory-disease; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Respirable-dust; Occupational-exposure
Harber-P; Schenker-MB; Balmes-JR
Occupational and environmental respiratory disease
Page last reviewed: March 11, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division