black lung

pneumoconiosis of coal miners, caused by coal dust; anthracosis.
[1905-10]

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also called  Black-lung Disease, or Coal-workers' Pneumoconiosis,  

      respiratory disorder, a type of pneumoconiosis caused by repeated inhalation of coal dust over a period of years. The disease gets its name from a distinctive blue-black marbling of the lung caused by accumulation of the dust. Georgius Agricola, a German mineralogist, first described lung disease in coal (coal mining) miners in the 16th century, and it is now widely recognized. It may be the best known occupational illness in the United States.

      The disease is most commonly found among miners of hard coal, but it also occurs in soft-coal miners and graphite workers. Onset of the disease is gradual; the symptoms usually appear only after 10–20 years of exposure to coal dust, and the extent of disease is clearly related to the total dust exposure. It is not clear, however, whether coal itself is solely responsible for the disease, as coal dust often is contaminated with silica, which causes similar symptoms. There is strong evidence that tobacco smoking aggravates the condition. The early stages of the disease (when it is called anthracosis) usually have no symptoms, but in its more advanced form it frequently is associated with pulmonary emphysema or chronic bronchitis and can be disabling; tuberculosis is also more common in victims of black lung.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • black lung — n pneumoconiosis caused by habitual inhalation of coal dust called also black lung disease compare SILICOSIS * * * coal workers pneumoconiosis …   Medical dictionary

  • black lung — noun uncount OLD FASHIONED a serious disease affecting the lungs, caused by breathing in small pieces of coal over a long period of time. Black lung especially affects people who work in coal mines …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • black lung — black′ lung′ n. pat pneumoconiosis of coal miners caused by coal dust …   From formal English to slang

  • black lung — noun lung disease caused by inhaling coal dust • Syn: ↑anthracosis, ↑black lung disease, ↑coal miner s lung • Hypernyms: ↑pneumoconiosis, ↑pneumonoconiosis * * * noun : a disease of the lungs caused by habit …   Useful english dictionary

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  • black lung — Synonyms and related words: Asiatic flu, Hong Kong flu, Minamata disease, acute bronchitis, adenoiditis, altitude sickness, aluminosis, amygdalitis, anoxemia, anoxia, anoxic anoxia, anthracosilicosis, anthracosis, anthrax, asbestosis, asthma,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • black lung — noun (U) AmE informal a lung disease caused by breathing in coal dust over a long period of time …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English


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