Tuberc Respir Dis > Volume 24(1); 1977 > Article
Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases 1977;24(1):1-10.
DOI:    Published online March 1, 1977.
Prevalence of Pneumoconiosis in Korean Coal Miners
Im Goung Yun
Department of Occupational Disease, lndustrial Accident Hospital, Catholic Medical College, Seoul, Korea
한국탄광부들에 있어서의 진폐증의 유병율
Korean coalmines produce only anthracite, which has been traditionally in wide use both at home and in industry as a principle source of energy. During the course of rapid industrialization in 1960s, it was partly replaced and supplemented with petroleum products. At present, mining itself is a minor industry in Korea and in 268 mines, 51,575 coalminers produce approximately 17. 6X 106 tones annually. Nevertheless, pneumoconisis in mining is one of the most well-known and widely-studied occupational disease in this country from historical point of view. Pneumoconiosis control program was first introduce by government-owned collieries in 1950s following the enactment of Labour Standard Act (1953) which cover safty, health and compensation of work-connected injuries and diseases. The program started with detection and compensation of this occupational disease and was gradually extended to preventive services. However, nation-wide prevention was put into effect only recently. This study was carried out in privately operated coal mines which occupy three quaters of man-power and coal production of the whole country. Standard chest X ray examination was carried out on 9,547 workers in 2-year period of 1973 and 1974 in this survey. The radiographs were classified by three pneumoconiosis specialists according to ILO U/ C classification of radiographs of pneumoconiosis 1971. The results were as follows: 1. Prevalence of pneumoconiosis Of 9,547 coal workers examined, 4.9% showed the radiological findings of pneumoconiosis. There is another 5.7% of coal workers whose radiological pictures may be classified as suspect pneumoconiosis. Out of. 471 pneumoconiosis cases, 99.4% showed small round opacities, while 0.6% showed large opacities: 31.9% of small round opacities belong to category 1, 13.2% to category 2, 1.3 % to category 3 and another 53.3 % to suspect pneumoconiosis; 29.9% of small round opacities belong to type p, 61.1% to type q and 9.0% to type r. 2. Prevalence by age of workers Most examinees were in the age groups between 21 to 60. There were exceptionally small groups of workers. 230 persons or 2.4% of total examinees. whose age were under 21 or over 61. All cases of pneumoconisis belong to age brackets of 21 to 60 with the highest rates of 20.8% and 13.9% in 51-60 and 41-50 age groups respectively. Prevalence of pneumoconiosis is proportionally increased with age. The median age of contracting the condition was 41. 4 years. 3. Prevalence by years of underground work 75.3% of examinees engaged in underground work for less than 5 years and 20. 6% between 6 and 10 years. The prevalence of pneumoconiosis increased proportionally with the length of underground work, with the highest rate of 30.8% among the workers with 20 years or more of experience and the lowest rate 2.9% among the workers who worked underground less than 5years. The median length of underground work of contracting the condition was 5.8 years. 4. Complication with pulmonary tuberculosis of 1.011 pneumoconiosis and suspects. 16.1 % were radiologically suspected with active and 23.2% with inactive pulmonary tuberculosis. while only 2.4% of non-pneumoconiosis workers had pulmonary tuberculosis.

Article category

Browse all articles >


Browse all articles >

Editorial Office
101-605, 58, Banpo-daero, Seocho-gu (Seocho-dong, Seocho Art-Xi), Seoul 06652, Korea
Tel: +82-2-575-3825, +82-2-576-5347    Fax: +82-2-572-6683    E-mail:                

Copyright © 2023 by The Korean Academy of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases. All rights reserved.

Developed in M2PI

Close layer
prev next