How does coal dust affect the lungs?

Coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP), commonly known as “black lung disease,” occurs when coal dust is inhaled. Over time, continued exposure to the coal dust causes scarring in the lungs, impairing your ability to breathe. Considered an occupational lung disease, it is most common among coal miners.

What causes lungs to turn black?

Black lung disease is considered a job-related illness. You get it when you inhale coal dust over a long period of time. Because it mainly affects coal miners, it’s also known as coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP). As you breathe in coal dust, particles settle into your airways and lungs.

Will a CT scan show black lung?

Black lung disease can be seen on chest x-ray and CT scans. If you have black lung disease, your chest x-ray or CT scan will show pulmonary nodules in your lungs. If you have other breathing impairments, like asthma, COPD, or hypoxemia, you could have legal pneumoconiosis.

How do I clear my lungs of dust?

Ways to clear the lungs

  1. Steam therapy. Steam therapy, or steam inhalation, involves inhaling water vapor to open the airways and help the lungs drain mucus.
  2. Controlled coughing.
  3. Drain mucus from the lungs.
  4. Exercise.
  5. Green tea.
  6. Anti-inflammatory foods.
  7. Chest percussion.

Who qualifies for black lung benefits?

To be eligible for this benefit program, you must be one of the following: A coal miner, who suffers from an illness caused by pneumoconiosis (black lung disease), or. A widow or widower whose spouse died due to a work-related illness caused by Pneumoconiosis.

How long can you live with black lung?

In the past, only about 50% of people who received a diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis lived another 3 years, while close to 20% lived another 5 years. However, new medications may slow the progression of the condition and reduce the risk of death in the first few years after diagnosis.

Does smoking cause black lung disease?

This sticky tar is black in colour and after years of smoking it builds up inside the lungs and causes them to become black too. Also, the lungs recognise the toxins and send immune cells to fight them. This fighting between our cells and the toxins causes something called inflammation which means swelling.

What do you need to know about black lung disease?

Medications such as inhalers may be needed, especially for those who also have chronic bronchitis. Oxygen may be needed, especially with progressive massive pulmonary fibrosis. Pulmonary rehabilitation can be helpful in providing breathing techniques, and teaching people how to cope with the symptoms of black lung disease.

What are the signs and symptoms of lung cancer?

Some people just have general symptoms of not feeling well. Most people with lung cancer don’t have symptoms until the cancer is advanced. Lung cancer symptoms may include— Coughing that gets worse or doesn’t go away. Chest pain. Shortness of breath. Wheezing. Coughing up blood. Feeling very tired all the time. Weight loss with no known cause.

What is black lung disease in central Appalachia?

(Central Appalachia includes Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia). (In this study, black lung disease or CWP was defined as the presence of small opacities or the presence of an opacity larger than 1 centimeter on imaging.) 3 

How often does black lung disease occur in miners?

Since that time, the prevalence of black lung disease (combining both simple and complex) has increased significantly according to a 2018 study reported in the American Journal of Public Health. At the current time, black lung disease is present in over 10% of miners who have worked in or near the mines for 25 or more years.