Suggestion of a cause-and-effect relationship among coal rank, airborne dust, and incidence of workers' pneumoconiosis.
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 2001 Nov/Dec; 61(6):785-787
Prolonged exposure to airborne respirable coal mine dust is responsible for coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP). Furthermore, miners who show evidence of higher radiographic categories of simple CWP are at increased risk of developing progressive massive fibrosis (PMF). As of 1990, there were nearly 130,000 coal miners in the United States. This excludes mines that produce less than 10,000 tons annually and the anthracite coal mines. Estimates indicate that at age 58, and average of 7/1000 U.S. workers and 89/1000 U.K. workers will have developed PMF. Health research studies have identified that the risk of developing and the severity of CWP are directly related to (1) the amount of respirable dust exposure and (2) the coal rank. The rank of coal is its state of formation in the series peat, lignite, sub-bituminous, bituminous, and anthracite (in order of increasing rank). The rank of coal can also be represented by the commercially important characteristics specified by its proximate analysis: fixed carbon, volatile matter, mineral matter, and moisture content.
Mining-industry; Pneumoconiosis; Health-hazards; Dust-exposure; Dust-inhalation; Dust-particles; Dusts; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders
NIOSH Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 18070, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal