Coal Worker’s Pneumoconiosis
Dr. Fatma ERBOY


Coal dust accumulation and tissue reaction against coal dust in coal mine workers is called as coal worker’s pneumoconiosis (CWP). This is an occupational lung disease. After inhalation, coal particle accumulates in tissue and anthracosis begins. Fibrosis is also seen in workers with high intense coal dust exposure. Morphologically “coal macula” or “progressive massive fibrosis” is seen. For radiological description, classification system of International Labour of Organisation (ILO) is used. Parallel with transition to digital technology in diagnostic methods, digital radiography copies were formed and also standards for digital radyographic classification was installed by ILO. High resolution computed tomography (HRCT) is found to be efficient for earlier diagnosis of CWP but is not recommended for routine use because of radiation risk. The amount of dust exposed, working place conditions and depth of work place, properties of coal and the age of the first exposure are important in pathogenesis. Usually CWP is asymptomatic. Cough, sputum or dyspnea is seen in symptomatic cases. Spirometric changes is seen in advanced disease. Coal dust inhalation is defined as the cause of Coal Mine Dust Lung Disease (CMDLD), Dust-related Diffuse Fibrosis (DDF). Also pneumoconiosis is listed among usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) causes. Similar to findings in interstitial pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), interstitial opacities in lower lobes, honey-combing and traction bronchiectasis is seen in coal mine workers. Mortality is higher in cases with complicated pneumoconiosis, in cases with accelerated FEV1 decline, and in cases with rapid radiological progression. Patients should quit smoking and be should avoid from dusty environment.

Keywords: Anthracosis, coal worker’s pneumoconiosis, ILO, progressive massive fibrosis.
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