Graphite pneumoconiosis

Br J Ind Med. 1972 Apr;29(2):178-83. doi: 10.1136/oem.29.2.178.


Ranasinha, K. W., and Uragoda, C. G. (1972).Brit. J. industr. Med.,29, 178-183. Graphite pneumoconiosis. In this survey, which is the first of its kind in the graphite industry, 344 workers in a large mine in Ceylon were investigated for pulmonary lesions; 22·7% of them had radiographic abnormalities, which included small rounded and irregular opacities, large opacities, and significant enlargement of hilar shadows. They had worked considerably longer in the industry and were, on average, older than the rest. Only 19·2% of the affected workers had respiratory symptoms, of which dyspnoea and cough were the most frequent. Digital clubbing was seen in 21·9%.

In an age and sex matched control group, comprising 327 persons from a neighbouring village, only 8 (2·4%) showed radiographic abnormalities.

Graphite pneumoconiosis closely resembles coal miners' pneumoconiosis in many respects. It does not appear to be a pure silicosis, neither could it be considered a true carbon pneumoconiosis. It is likely that massive fibrosis is associated with tuberculous infection.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Carbon*
  • Child
  • Cough / etiology
  • Dyspnea / etiology
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mining*
  • Osteoarthropathy, Secondary Hypertrophic / etiology
  • Pneumoconiosis* / complications
  • Pneumoconiosis* / diagnostic imaging
  • Radiography
  • Sri Lanka
  • Time Factors
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / complications


  • Carbon