Using Digital Chest Images to Monitor the Health of Coal Miners and Other Workers

Under the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969, as amended by the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, NIOSH administers a long-standing chest radiographic (x-ray) monitoring program for underground coal miners (The Coal Workers X-ray Surveillance Program [CWXSP]). Conventional screen-film chest radiographic imaging has been an indispensable tool for monitoring the lung health of miners and other dust-exposed workers. In these surveillance programs, trained readers assess a worker's chest radiograph for the presence and severity of occupational lung disease (parenchymal a, pleural b, and other abnormalities) using a classification system developed by the International Labour Office (ILO).

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