Prevalence of pneumoconiosis and its relationship to dust exposure in a cohort of U.S. bituminous coal miners and ex-miners

Am J Ind Med. 1995 Jan;27(1):137-51. doi: 10.1002/ajim.4700270113.


Information on radiographic evidence of coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP) is presented for a group of 3,194 underground bituminous coal miners and ex-miners examined between 1985 and 1988. Prevalence of CWP was related to estimated cumulative dust exposure, age, and rank of coal. On the basis of these data, miners of medium to low rank coal, who work for 40 years at the current federal dust limit of 2 mg/m3, are predicted to have a 1.4% risk of having progressive massive fibrosis on retirement. Higher prevalences are predicted for less severe categories of CWP. Miners in high rank coal areas appear to be at greater risk than those mining medium and low rank coals. Ex-miners who said that they left mining for health-related reasons had higher levels of abnormality compared to current miners.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bias
  • Coal / classification
  • Coal Mining*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dust / adverse effects*
  • Employment
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Pneumoconiosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Pneumoconiosis / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / epidemiology
  • Radiography
  • Retirement
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Coal
  • Dust