Contact Us  |  Search: 
Printer Friendly VersionEmail A FriendAdd ThisIncrease Text SizeDecrease Text Size

Coal worker's pneumoconiosis

 

Definition

Coal worker's pneumoconiosis is a lung disease that results from breathing in dust from coal, graphite, or man-made carbon over a long period of time.

Alternative Names

Black lung disease; Pneumoconiosis; Anthrosilicosis

Causes

Coal worker's pneumoconiosis occurs in two forms: simple and complicated (progressive massive fibrosis, or PMF).

Your risk of developing the disease depends on how long you have been around the coal dust. Most people with this disease are older than 50. Smoking does not increase your risk of developing this disease, but it may have an additional harmful effect on the lungs.

If complicated coal worker's pneumoconiosis occurs along with rheumatoid arthritis, it is called Caplan syndrome.

Symptoms
Signs and tests

The doctor will perform a physical exam and listen to your lungs with a stethoscope. A chest x-ray will be taken.

Support Groups

For additional resources, see lung disease support group.

Expectations (prognosis)

The outcome for the simple form is usually good. It rarely causes disability or death. The complicated form may cause shortness of breath that gets progressively worse.

Calling your health care provider

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you develop symptoms of coal worker's pneumoconiosis.

Complications

Complications may include:

Treatments

There is no specific treatment for this disorder. You should avoid further exposure to the dust.

Prevention

Wear a protective mask when working around coal, graphite, or man-made carbon. Companies should enforce the maximum permitted dust levels.

References

Mason RJ, Murray JF, Broaddus VC, Nadel JA, eds. Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2005:1758-1763.


Review Date: 4/24/2009
Reviewed By: Allen J. Blaivas, DO, Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine UMDNJ-NJMS, Attending Physician in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, Department of Veterans Affairs, VA New Jersey Health Care System, East Orange, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch).
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2009 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
MAIMONIDES
MEDICAL CENTER


Home Page
Why Choose Us
Donations
Website Terms of Use
PATIENT
INFORMATION


Visitor & Patient Info
We Speak Your Language
Patient Privacy
Contact Us
KEY
INFORMATION


Find a Physician
Medical Services
Maimonides In the News
Directions & Parking
FOR HEALTH
PROFESSIONALS


Medical Education
Career Opportunities
Nurses & Physicians
Staff Intranet Access

Maimonides Medical Center    |    4802 Tenth Avenue    |    Brooklyn, NY 11219    |    718.283.6000