Pneumoconiosis Field Research - Understanding the causes of lung disease in coal workers

IOM’s founding purpose was to understand the causes of lung disease in coal workers and provide the evidence for safe working limits to eliminate them. Through the Pneumoconiosis Field Research programme, IOM’s research investigated the relationship between coalmine dust and the health of miners’ lungs, in a study monitoring over 50,000 miners in Britain.

The study had significant impact within both the industry and government, drastically improving working standards and contributing to the reduced risk of the disease globally. Additionally, based on the evidence collected, a scheme was established which provided compensation for hundreds of thousands of miners and their families for the health effects caused from working in such terrible conditions.

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