Purpose of Review
This review summarizes recent research on pneumoconiosis in coal workers following the identification of the resurgence of this disease among US coal miners in the early 2000s. We describe the impact of this research and how this has led to increased public attention, benefitting affected miners.
The latest research shows that the prevalence of pneumoconiosis, including progressive massive fibrosis, continues to increase, especially in central Appalachia. Contributing factors may include mining of thin coal seams or cutting rock to access coal, which may expose miners to coal mine dust with a higher content of silica and silicates than in the past.
The impact of recently implemented changes, such as the reduced occupational exposure limit for respirable coal mine dust and the introduction of continuous personal dust monitors, will likely take years to appropriately evaluate.
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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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Hall, N.B., Blackley, D.J., Halldin, C.N. et al. Current Review of Pneumoconiosis Among US Coal Miners. Curr Envir Health Rpt 6, 137–147 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40572-019-00237-5
- Coal miners
- Environmental health