What Is Black Lung Disease?

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Case Study II
What is Black Lung Disease?

If you travel on the turnpike starting in Philadelphia and go west towards the Oregon Coast you could pass through the 10 states that account for 90 percent of the country 's coal reserves; Wyoming, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Montana, Kentucky, Ohio, Colorado, Texas and Indiana. Of these 10 states four stand out as having the highest concentration of Black Lung Disease. 61.5 – 80.0 percent of the cases of this disease occur in; West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky. Black Lung also known as Coal worker 's pneumoconiosis (CMP) can be defined as the accumulation of coal dust in the lungs and the tissue 's reaction to its presence. The disease is divided into two
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CMP is a slowly progressive parenchymal lung disease that has no cure or proven therapy other than eliminating exposure and in the states as mentioned earlier the affects have been devastating, so much so that Congress passed the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety act of 1969. The law created strict restrictions on airborne respirable dust concentrations in underground coal mines. Diagnosis of CWP is based on a patient’s history of exposure and chest x-ray or chest CT scan appearance. Because patients with CWP often have had exposure to both silica dust and coal dust, surveillance for TB is usually done. People with CWP should have annual tuberculin skin testing. Once a person is informed he or she has a positive test result, a sputum culture and cytology, CT scan, and bronchoscopy (a procedure where a camera is inserted into the lungs) may be needed to confirm TB.

It is not believed that there is a genetic link to coalminer’s pneumoconiosis the cause is a direct correlation between the concentration of coal dust and the length of time a person was exposed to the dust. For those who do have the disease inhaled bronchodilators like albuterol and corticosteroids such as prednisone may relieve some of the symptoms. In order to protect people who live and work in the coal industry rich states from developing Black Lung Disease,
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