Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Lung Disease & Respiratory Health Center

Font Size

Black Lung Disease - Topic Overview

How is CWP diagnosed?

CWP is diagnosed through an occupational history and chest X-rays. Lung function tests may be used to determine how badly the lungs are damaged.

Occupational history is very important to the diagnosis of CWP—if a person has not been exposed to coal dust, he or she cannot have CWP. The occupational history should include not only recent and past full-time employment, but also summer jobs, student jobs, military history, and short-term jobs.

The diagnosis of CWP has legal public health implications, since some states require that all cases be reported.

Can CWP be prevented?

CWP can be prevented by controlling dust and having good ventilation in the workplace.

How is it treated?

There is no proven effective treatment for CWP, although complications can be treated.

There are several U.S. laws regarding CWP and its treatment, and the government may help pay for treatment. But to be eligible, you must be totally and permanently disabled by this disease. Most miners aren't eligible for federal black lung benefits. For information on organizations dealing with mining and black lung disease, see the Other Places to Get Help section of this topic.

1|2
1|2

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 10, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Hot Tub Disease
Article
Lung Disease Health Check
HEALTH CHECK
 
Cigarette butts in ashtray
Article
Household Hazards For People With Copd
Article
 

Bronchitis Overview
SLIDESHOW
Copd Myth Fact Quiz
QUIZ
 
Living With Copd
VIDEO
Energy Boosting Foods
SLIDESHOW
 

cigarette butts snuffed out in ashtray
SLIDESHOW
Healthy Home Health Check
TOOL
 
Senior woman stretching
Article
Diagnosing Copd
VIDEO
 

WebMD Special Sections