Author(s): A Scott Laney, David N Weissman
Objective: To provide an update on respiratory diseases caused by coal mine dust.
Methods: This article presents the results of a literature review initially performed for an International Conference on Occupational and Environmental Lung Disease held in summer 2013.
Results: Coal mine dust causes a spectrum of lung diseases collectively termed coal mine dust lung disease (CMDLD). These include Coal Workers' Pneumoconiosis, silicosis, mixed dust pneumoconiosis, dust-related diffuse fibrosis (which can be mistaken for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. CMDLD continues to be a problem in the United States, particularly in the central Appalachian region. Treatment of CMDLD is symptomatic. Those with end-stage disease are candidates for lung transplantation. Because CMDLD cannot be cured, prevention is critical.
Conclusions: Coal mine dust remains a relevant occupational hazard and miners remain at risk for CMDLD.Occupational Medicine & Health Affairs