Coal Miner's Lung (Black Lung Disease)
Coal miner’s lung (aka black lung disease) is a chronic occupational lung disease contracted by the prolonged breathing of coal mine dust. The silica and carbon in coal dust cause black lung disease. About one of every 20 miners studied in the US has X-ray evidence of black lung disease, a form of pneumoconiosis. In its early stages, called simple pneumoconiosis, the disease does not prevent the miner from working or carrying on most normal activities. In some miners, the disease never becomes more severe. In other miners, the disease progresses from simple to complicated pneumoconiosis, a condition also called progressive massive fibrosis. Pneumoconiosis is not reversible and there is no specific treatment.