New Study Suggests Link Between Silica Dust and Black Lung Disease

New Study Suggests Link Between Silica Dust and Black Lung Disease

The number of coal workers with black lung is increasing.

A recent study suggested a link between silica dust exposure and black lung disease.

According to the paper, the study analyzed the lung pathology of 85 coal workers with progressive massive fibrosis, or severe black lung. The study compared the samples between two groups of people: those born between 1910 and 1930 and those born in or after 1930.

The result of the study showed higher concentrations of silica particles were present in the lungs of people born in or after 1930.

According to NIOSH, the number of coal workers with black lung has been increasing since 2000. The lowest-recorded number of black lung cases was recorded in the 1990s. In 2012, 7 percent of coal workers who worked for 25 years or more had black lung. In 2018, it affected 10 percent of workers.

“Our findings underscore the importance of controlling workplace silica exposure in order to prevent the disabling and untreatable adverse health effects afflicting US coal miners,” the study’s conclusion says.

About the Author

Alex Saurman is the Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety.

Product Showcase

  • Buddy System or Supervisor’s Package

    Buddy System or Supervisor’s Package

    Do You Have People Working Alone? Use an employee check-in system and a lot can happen between employee “check-in’s”. Check-in systems do not work ▪ You need an Immediate Notification System Heavy Duty-Intrinscially Safe Worker Worn Alarms Grace Lone Worker Systems: DO NOT - Rely upon cellular networks DO NOT - Require internet connections INTEGRATE with SCADA/Fire/Weather Alarms BEST OF ALL - NO Subscription Fees Check-Out our simple Buddy System or Supervisor’s Package. Advanced Location Monitoring with MS2000X ▪ SMS Safety Monitor ▪ Grace-Watch®. SC500 GracePointsφGPS® provides both outdoor GPS and indoor Grace Locator Beacon locations. See Us at ASSP Booth 2050 3

  • Kestrel® Heat Stress Monitoring System

    Ensure worker safety & regulatory compliance with the Kestrel® Heat Stress Monitoring System from Kestrel®. With real-time remote access to critical data, leaders have the information to make timely decisions preventing workplace heat-related injuries and incidents. The Kestrel 5400 Heat Stress Tracker with LiNK connects via Bluetooth to a wall-mounted remote monitoring tablet showing current data. ºStop by ASSP Safety booth #1014. 3

  • ID Cards and Badges

    ID Cards and Badges

    Does your facility need forklift licenses, safety certification badges, name tags or safety reference cards? Now you can create your own durable safety ID cards or badges onsite using a standard desktop laser printer. Simply use free Avery software and templates to customize your cards or badges, and then print directly on the durable 11 mil plastic material on one or both sides. These cards and badges are waterproof, tearproof and resistant to chemicals, UV fading and abrasion – no lamination needed. For more information, see Avery® at the ASSP Safety 2023 Show booth #1662 or visit 3