Black Lung Disease

Black Lung Disease
Black Lung Disease


Coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP) is a lung disease that results from breathing in dust from coal, graphite, or man-made carbon over a long time.

CWP is also known as Black Lung disease.

Commonly Associated With

Black lung disease; Pneumoconiosis; Anthrosilicosis


CWP occurs in two forms: simple and complicated (also called progressive massive fibrosis, or PMF).

Your risk for developing CWP depends on how long you have been around coal dust. Most people with this disease are older than 50. Smoking does not increase your risk for developing this disease, but it may have an added harmful effect on the lungs.

If CWP occurs with rheumatoid arthritis, it is called Caplan syndrome.


Symptoms of CWP include:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing up of black sputum

Exams & Tests

The health care provider will perform a physical examination and ask about your symptoms.

Tests that may be done include:

  • Chest x-ray
  • Chest CT scan
  • Lung function tests


Treatment may include any of the following, depending on how severe your symptoms are:

  • Medicines to keep the airways open and reduce mucus
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation to help you learn ways to breathe better
  • Oxygen therapy


Courtesy of MedlinePlus from the National Library of Medicine