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Progressive Massive Fibrosis in Coal Miners From 3 Clinics in Virginia
Since 1970, the Coal Workers' Health Surveillance Program (CWHSP), administered by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, has offered periodic chest radiographs to working US coal miners.1 The primary purpose of the CWHSP is early detection of coal workers' pneumoconiosis to prevent progression to disabling lung disease, including progressive massive fibrosis (PMF). By the late 1990s, PMF was rarely identified among miners participating in the CWHSP. However, a 2014 report documented an increase in the prevalence of PMF in Appalachia.2 On February 1, 2017, the director...
Coal miner participation in a job transfer program designed to prevent progression of pneumoconiosis, United States, 1986–2016
The Part 90 program was designed to prevent progression of pneumoconiosis in U.S. coal miners by establishing their right to transfer to a less dusty job in the mine. We calculated the proportion of Part 90-eligible miners who participated during 1986–2016, examined participation by region, and compared characteristics of miners by participation status. Of the 3,547 eligible miners, 14.4% exercised their Part 90 option. Miners working in states outside central Appalachia, and those with more severe pneumoconiosis, were more likely to participate. The primary goal of respiratory health surveillance...
Resurgence of Progressive Massive Fibrosis in Coal Miners - Eastern Kentucky, 2016
The prevalence of coal workers' pneumoconiosis fell precipitously after implementation of the Coal Mine Health and Safety Act and reached historic lows in the 1990s, with the most severe form, progressive massive fibrosis (PMF), nearly eradicated. Since that time, increases in the prevalence and severity of coal workers' pneumoconiosis have occurred, especially in central Appalachia. During January 1, 2015–August 17, 2016, a total of 60 patients identified through a single radiologist's practice had radiographic findings consistent with PMF; 49 had their radiograph taken during...
Surveillance for Silicosis
Michigan and New Jersey, 2003–2011 CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), state health departments, and other state entities maintain a state-based surveillance program of confirmed silicosis cases. Data on confirmed cases are collected and compiled by state entities and submitted to CDC. This report summarizes information for cases of silicosis that were reported to CDC for 2003–2011 by Michigan and New Jersey, the only states that continue to provide data voluntarily to NIOSH. Source:
Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid microRNA-146a: A Biomarker of Disease Severity and Pulmonary Function in Patients With Silicosis
Objective: To examine the impact of microRNA-146a (miR-146a) on pulmonary function and disease severity in silicosis patients. Methods: Twenty-nine silicosis patients and six observation subjects were recruited. MiR-146a expression level was detected by qRT-PCR, and pulmonary function was assessed with a spirometer. Results: MiR-146a expression level was higher in silicosis patients than in observation subjects, and the probability of suffering from silicosis increased with increasing miR-146a level. MiR-146a was associated with the severity of silicosis. As the miR-146a increased, the probability...
Surveillance for Silicosis
Michigan and New Jersey, 2003-2010 CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), state health departments, and other state entities maintain a state-based surveillance program of confirmed silicosis cases. Data on confirmed cases are collected and compiled by state entities and submitted to CDC. This report summarizes information for cases of silicosis that were reported to CDC for 2003-2010. The data for this report were final as of December 31, 2010. Data are presented in tabular form on the prevalence of silicosis, the number of cases and the distribution of cases...
Silicosis Update
Silicosis is a potentially fatal but preventable occupational lung disease caused by inhaling respirable particles containing crystalline silicon dioxide (silica). Quartz, a type of crystalline silica, is the second most abundant mineral in the earth's crust and workers across a wide range of occupations and industries are exposed to silica-containing dusts. The risks, causes, and prevention of this avoidable disease have been known for decades. There is no cure for silicosis and only symptomatic treatment is available, including lung transplantation for the most severe cases. New national...
Worker Exposure to Silica during Countertop Manufacturing, Finishing and Installation
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have identified exposure to silica as a health hazard to workers involved in manufacturing, finishing and installing natural and manufactured stone countertop products, both in fabrication shops and during in-home finishing/installation. This hazard can be mitigated with simple and effective dust controls in most countertop operations. Source:
Silicosis Mortality Trends and New Exposures to Respirable Crystalline Silica
United States, 2001–2010 Silicosis is a preventable occupational lung disease caused by the inhalation of respirable crystalline silica dust and can progress to respiratory failure and death (1). No effective specific treatment for silicosis is available; patients are provided supportive care, and some patients may be considered for lung transplantation. Chronic silicosis can develop or progress even after occupational exposure has ceased (1). The number of deaths from silicosis declined from 1,065 in 1968 to 165 in 2004 (2). Hazardous occupational exposures to silica dust have long been...
Debilitating Lung Disease Among Surface Coal Miners With No Underground Mining Tenure
Objective: To characterize exposure histories and respiratory disease among surface coal miners identified with progressive massive fibrosis from a 2010 to 2011 pneumoconiosis survey. Methods: Job history, tenure, and radiograph interpretations were verified. Previous radiographs were reviewed when available. Telephone follow-up sought additional work and medical history information. Results: Among eight miners who worked as drill operators or blasters for most of their tenure (median, 35.5 years), two reported poor dust control practices, working in visible dust clouds as recently as 2012. Chest...
Expression Levels of Surfactant-Associated Proteins and Inflammation Cytokines in Serum and Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid Among Coal Miners
A Case-Control Study Objective: To investigate whether the Th1/Th2 balance and expressions of surfactant-associated proteins and cytokines in serum and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) are associated with the development of coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP). Methods: A case-control study was conducted among 72 CWP cases and 68 controls. Th1 and Th2 populations were measured by flow cytometry. Expressions of surfactant-associated proteins A and D (SPA and SPD) and cytokines in serum and BALF were detected by enzyme-linked-immunosorbent serologic assay. Data were analyzed by t test and logistic...
Outbreak of silicosis in Spanish quartz conglomerate workers
Objectives: To describe the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of an outbreak of occupational silicosis and the associated working conditions. Methods: Cases were defined as men working in the stone cutting, shaping, and finishing industry in the province of Cádiz, diagnosed with silicosis between July 2009 and May 2012, and were identified and diagnosed by the department of pulmonology of the University Hospital of Puerto Real (Cádiz). A census of workplaces using quartz conglomerates was carried out to determine total numbers of potentially exposed workers. A patient telephone...
Silica Hazards from Engineered Stone Countertops
A new engineered stone countertop product known as “quartz surfacing,” was created in the late 1980s by combining quartz aggregate with resins to create a product for use in home building and home improvement. Manufacturing of this material, including products such as CaesarStone™, Silestone™, Zodiaq™, or Cambria™ is a fast growing industry. First made in Israel and Spain, production of these materials has grown world-wide, driving quartz slab imports to the U.S. up 63% between 2011 and 2012 and 48% between April 2012 and April 2013 (Schwartzkopf 2013, StatWatch...
Mica Dust and Pneumoconiosis
Example of a Pure Occupational Exposure in a Muscovite Milling Unit Objective: We present pulmonary disorders of four employees who were exposed to high concentration of pure mica dust in a muscovite milling unit. Method: All cases underwent traditional examinations with a dual-energy chest computed tomographic scan. An analysis of exhaled breath condensate by Raman microspectrometry and of mineralogical content of a lung biopsy was performed for one case. Results: All cases showed bilateral micronodular ground glass opacities and mediastinal and hilar hyperdense lymph nodes consistent with the...
Pneumoconiosis and malignant mesothelioma in a family operated metal casting business that used industrial talc from New York State
Background The United States is second only to the People's Republic of China in annual talc production. U.S. talc is used in the production of ceramics, paint, paper, plastics, roofing, rubber, cosmetics, flooring, caulking, and agricultural applications. A number of U.S. talc deposits consistently contain talc intergrown with amphiboles such as tremolite and/or anthophyllite. It has long been recognized that miners and millers of talc deposits are at risk for pneumoconiosis and it has recently been reported that it is prudent, on the balance of probabilities, to conclude that dusts from New...
Pneumoconiosis and Advanced Occupational Lung Disease Among Surface Coal Miners
16 States, 2010–2011 Coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP) is a chronic occupational lung disease caused by long-term inhalation of dust, which triggers inflammation of the alveoli, eventually resulting in irreversible lung damage. CWP ranges in severity from simple to advanced; the most severe form is progressive massive fibrosis (PMF). Advanced CWP is debilitating and often fatal. To prevent CWP, the Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 established the current federal exposure limit for respirable dust in underground and surface coal mines. The Act also established a surveillance system...
Mortality attributable to occupational exposure in Sweden
Objectives The objective of this study was to estimate the mortality from cancer, cardiovascular, and respiratory diseases attributable to occupational exposure in Sweden. Methods Estimates were calculated for men and women separately, and we considered only deaths between 25–74 years of age. We considered cancer exposures/sites classified as I or 2a according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Acute myocardial infarction was the only included cardiovascular disease. Respiratory diseases comprised chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) asthma, pneumoconiosis...
Asbestos and Other Occupational Lung Diseases in New Zealand :2010 Annual Report
Rapport sur les maladies pulmonaires reliées à l'amiante et à d'autres substances en Nouvelle-Zélande. Source :
Health surveillance in silica exposed workers
There is uncertainty in Great Britain (GB) about what constitutes appropriate health surveillance for silica-exposed workers, despite evidence that new cases of silicosis are occurring. The main objectives of this report are: 1) To identify existing recommendations for health surveillance for silica-exposed workers. 2) To assess the evidence base for these recommendations and other relevant evidence in the scientific literature. 3) To make recommendations for a standard. Source :
Coal Workers' Pneumoconiosis-Related Years of Potential Life Lost Before Age 65 Years
United States, 1968--2006 Coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP) is a preventable, slowly progressive parenchymal lung disease caused by inhalation and deposition of coal mine dust in the lungs. The incidence and rate of CWP progression is related to the amount of respirable coal dust to which miners were exposed during their working lifetime (1). Early pneumoconiosis can be asymptomatic, but advanced disease often leads to disability and premature death (1,2). To characterize the impact of premature mortality attributed to CWP in the United States, CDC's National Institute for Occupational...
Chinese researchers link nanoparticle exposure to pulmonary fibrosis in female workers
An article that will be published in the September issue of the European Respiratory Journal (ERJ) is the first study to claim a concrete link between exposure to nanoparticles in adhesive paint and development of severe pulmonary fibrosis. In the group of young female workers reported on, two of them went on to suffer fatal lung failure.
Mining circulars updated
The following mining circulars have been updated: Dust sampling on wet and muddy roadways SPC/TECH/SI1/06 - Previously spc/tech/ld05/06 Pneumoconiosis - Radiographic classification SPC/TECH/SI1/02 - Previously spc/tech/ld5/02
Black Lung Disease on the Rise
In September 2007, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) confirmed what doctors and occupational health specialists had been seeing when examining X-rays of coal miners’ lungs during the past several years. After years of decline, the rate of deadly disease had doubled and was appearing in younger and younger miners.
Faces of Black Lung
Each year, approximately 1,000 miners in the U.S. die from coal workers' pneumoconiosis, or 'black lung disease,' a preventable illness caused by exposure to coal mine dust. The video features two miners who share their stories and provide insight on how their lives have changed due to this devastating disease.

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