Journal of Clinical Toxicology

Journal of Clinical Toxicology
Open Access

ISSN: 2161-0495

+44 1478 350008


Rapidly Progressing Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis as a Confounding Risk Factor in Assessing Coal Mine Dust Safe Exposure Levels

John F Gamble, Robert B Reger and Robert E Glenn

The US coal mine dust (“CMD”) standard is among the lowest in the world. Lowering exposures to 2 mg/m3 markedly reduced prevalence of coal workers pneumoconiosis (“CWP”). Lowering the standard to 1 mg/m3 is proposed because of a recent increase in rapidly progressive coal workers pneumoconiosis.

The purpose of this report is to evaluate the characteristics of the reported rapidly progressive CWP to evaluate these findings with regard to classical characteristics of CWP and to establish whether these rapidly progressive cases call for a lowering of the CMD standard.

We conclude that rapidly progressing CWP appears to be silicosis based on rapid progression of disease, the characteristics of the radiological changes observed, and the high quartz exposures experienced by these cases.