Respiratory diseases caused by coal mine dust

J Occup Environ Med. 2014 Oct;56 Suppl 10(0 10):S18-22. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000260.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anthracosis / diagnosis
  • Anthracosis / etiology*
  • Anthracosis / mortality
  • Anthracosis / prevention & control
  • Cause of Death
  • Coal
  • Cost of Illness
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Dust
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • United States


  • Coal
  • Dust