Current Review of Pneumoconiosis Among US Coal Miners
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Purpose of Review
This review summarizes recent research on pneumoconiosis in coal workers following the identification of the resurgence of this disease among US coal miners in the early 2000s. We describe the impact of this research and how this has led to increased public attention, benefitting affected miners.
The latest research shows that the prevalence of pneumoconiosis, including progressive massive fibrosis, continues to increase, especially in central Appalachia. Contributing factors may include mining of thin coal seams or cutting rock to access coal, which may expose miners to coal mine dust with a higher content of silica and silicates than in the past.
The impact of recently implemented changes, such as the reduced occupational exposure limit for respirable coal mine dust and the introduction of continuous personal dust monitors, will likely take years to appropriately evaluate.
KeywordsPneumoconiosis Coal miners Environmental health
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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