Pneumoconiosis prevalence among working coal miners examined in federal chest radiograph surveillance programs--United States, 1996-2002

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2003 Apr 18;52(15):336-40.


Coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP) is a chronic lung disease caused by inhalation of coal mine dust. To characterize the prevalence of CWP, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) analyzed recent radiographic information from the U.S. National Coal Workers' X-ray Surveillance Program (CWXSP). Established under the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969, CWXSP is administered by NIOSH under federal regulations. NIOSH is responsible for approving coal miner examination plans, submitted approximately every 5 years by companies that operate underground coal mines. This report summarizes the results of the analysis, which indicate that the overall prevalence of CWP among participating miners continues to decline; however, new cases are occurring among miners who have worked exclusively under current dust exposure limits. An evaluation of the mining conditions that have resulted in these cases is underway.

MeSH terms

  • Coal Mining*
  • Humans
  • Mass Chest X-Ray*
  • Pneumoconiosis / diagnosis*
  • Pneumoconiosis / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • United States / epidemiology