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Respiratory disease in coal miners.
Attfield MD; Wagner GR
Environmental and occupational medicine, third edition. Rom WN, ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippencott-Raven Publishers, 1998 Sep; :413-433
Coal worker's pneumoconiosis is a well-defined medical entity resulting from the deposition of coal mine dust in the lung and from the reaction to the deposited dust resulting in coal macules, coal nodules, and progressive massive fibrosis (PMF). Because of the nonspecific nature of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and the frequent concurrent presence of multiple risk factors such as dust exposure and cigarette smoking, the diagnosis of lung diseases related to coal mine dust had led to disagreement and controversy over the definition and diagnosis of black lung (7). Ongoing epidemiologic, pathologic, and clinical studies have provided important information, helping to resolve some of these questions. The United States has extensive coal deposits (Fig.1). Owing to the increasing scarcity and cost of petroleum as a fuel, coal will continue to be an essential energy source. It is impossible to extract coal without some dust exposure, so it is critical to understand the relationships between coal mine dust exposure and the development of respiratory diseases in order to diagnose, treat and prevent them.
Coal-miners; Coal-dust; Coal-mining; Lung-disease; Disease-prevention; Dust-exposure; Dust-inhalation; Exposure-limits
Michael Attfield, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Epidemiology Investigations Branch, Morgantown, WV 26505
Environmental and occupational medicine, third edition
Page last reviewed: October 1, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division