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July 3, 1972

Terminology of Coal Miners' Pneumoconiosis

JAMA. 1972;221(1):89. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200140073036

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To the Editor.—  For many years an appreciation of the clinical and pathophysiologic derangements that occur in chronic obstructive airway disease was hampered because of the problems with semantics and language. With the increased frequency of international meetings, it became evident that standardization of terms was essential, and various organizations including the World Health Organization and American Thoracic Society saw fit to introduce definitions which have since become widely accepted. It is, therefore, with dismay that we read Dr. Naeye's and Mr. Dellinger's paper on coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP) (220:223, 1972). We do not dispute his findings, but cannot but object to use of the term "coal workers' pneumoconiosis" to include any type of respiratory impairment that occurs in a miner, whether occupationally related or not. The International Labor Organization has defined CWP and throughout the world this condition is taken to mean a disease that is produced by coal