NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Coal workers' pneumoconiosis.
Preventing occupational disease and injury. Weeks JL, Levy BS, Wagner GR, eds. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association, 1991 Jan; :203-209
Coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP) was reviewed. CWP is insidious in onset, characterized by opacities on chest X-rays. A conventional method of X-ray interpretation to diagnose CWP was developed by the International Labor Organization (ILO). However, there are still inconsistencies in the interpretation of radiographs. The prevalence of CWP increases with increasing coal dust exposure. About 4% of working miners developed CWP after 15 years, and 19% of miners with greater than 30 years experience showed ILO category 1/0 or greater CWP. The cause of CWP is respirable coal mine dust, dust that is less than 5 micrometers in diameter and consisting mostly of coal but also including silica (14808607). Pathophysiology of CWP was reviewed. Coal dust exposure is associated with loss of lung function, resulting in obstructive lung disease. Miners have increased rates of emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Prevention involves reducing dust exposure by improving ventilation and improving dust suppression. Enforcement of strict dust control standard supports preventive methods. Rehabilitation efforts are the same as for other lung disease sufferers.
Coal-workers-pneumoconiosis; Occupational-exposure; Coal-miners; Chest-X-rays; Coal-dust; Silica-dusts; Physiopathology; Pulmonary-function-tests
Weeks-JL; Levy-BS; Wagner-GR
Preventing occupational disease and injury
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division