Respiratory surveillance for coal mine dust and artificial stone exposed workers in Australia and New Zealand: A position statement from the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand*

Jennifer L. Perret, Susan Miles, Fraser Brims, Katrina Newbigin, Maggie Davidson, Hubertus Jersmann, Adrienne Edwards, Graeme Zosky, Anthony Frankel, Anthony R. Johnson, Ryan Hoy, David W. Reid, A. William Musk, Michael J. Abramson, Bob Edwards, Robert Cohen, Deborah H. Yates*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Coal mine lung dust disease (CMDLD) and artificial stone (AS) silicosis are preventable diseases which have occurred in serious outbreaks in Australia recently. This has prompted a TSANZ review of Australia's approach to respiratory periodic health surveillance. While regulating respirable dust exposure remains the foundation of primary and secondary prevention, identification of workers with early disease assists with control of further exposure, and with the aims of preserving lung function and decreasing respiratory morbidity in those affected. Prompt detection of an abnormality also allows for ongoing respiratory specialist clinical management. This review outlines a medical framework for improvements in respiratory surveillance to detect CMDLD and AS silicosis in Australia. This includes appropriate referral, improved data collection and interpretation, enhanced surveillance, the establishment of a nationwide Occupational Lung Disease Registry and an independent advisory group. These measures are designed to improve health outcomes for workers in the coal mining, AS and other dust-exposed and mining industries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1193-1202
Number of pages10
JournalRespirology
Volume25
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • coal mine dust lung disease
  • pneumoconiosis
  • prevention
  • respiratory surveillance
  • silicosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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