Coal workers' pneumoconiosis


Pneumoconiosis (Pulmonary Fibrosis)




CWP; Simple CWP; Black lung; Anthracosis; Miners' asthma

Biomedical References

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Simple coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP) is defined by the presence of small lung opacities that develop after at least ten years of exposure to coal dust. The disease is rarely seen in miners who have spent less than 20 years underground. Workers are often asymptomatic with normal pulmonary function studies. Chest x-ray findings resemble those of simple silicosis. Studies of miners with simple CWP have not shown increased mortality rates. [LaDou, p. 381] [Harber, p. 365] [Rosenstock, p. 1082] Approximately 3% of the currently employed underground coal miners in the US have evidence of CWP by chest x-ray compared to 33% in 1970. [PMID 16169911] Underground coal miners from Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia had increased silicosis and progressive massive fibrosis in the period 2000-2008 compared to the 1980s, possibly caused by increased mining of thinner seams of coal surrounded by rock. [PMID 19773275] See "CWP, complicated." See "Coal dusts."


". . . is seen rarely in those who have spent fewer than 20 years underground." [LaDou, p. 381]


Chest x-ray

ICD-9 Code


Reference Link

NIOSH - Coal Worker Pneumoconiosis

Related Information in Haz-Map

Symptoms/Findings associated with this disease:

Job Tasks

High risk job tasks associated with this disease:


Hazardous agents that cause the occupational disease: