Working conditions and pneumoconiosis in Turkish coal miners between 1985 and 2004: A report from Zonguldak coal basin, Turkey

Tor M., Öztürk M., Altin R., ÇIMRIN A. H.

Tuberkuloz ve Toraks, vol.58, no.3, pp.252-260, 2010 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 58 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Journal Name: Tuberkuloz ve Toraks
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.252-260
  • Keywords: Coal, Coal dust, Pneumoconiosis
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


In Turkey, bituminous coal mining is performed only in Zonguldak coal basin since 1940. Pneumoconiosis surveillance programs and dust control measures are in effect, but published pneumoconiosis data from this area is lacking. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the change in prevalence and case detection between 1985 and 2004 and assess the correlation between the dust concentration in workplaces and the prevalence of pneumoconiosis. Data on respirable dust concentrations and number of workers diagnosed as pneumoconiosis between 1985 and 2004 were obtained from Turkish Coal Enterprises authorities. Mean respirable dust concentrations in workplaces underground and on the ground were 1.66 mg/m3 and 0.73 mg/m3 respectively. Total number of workers decreased from 38.231 in 1985 to 12.261 in 2004 including 8932 underground workers. In this period, pneumoconiosis has not been reported in the ground workers. Incidence of pneumoconiosis ranged between 0.17-2.8 percent and prevalence ranged between 1.23-6.23 percent between 1985 and 2004. Radiologic opacities compatible with pneumoconiosis were predominantly small opacities. This is the first report about the incidence and prevalence rate of coal worker's pneumoconiosis in the main coal mining area of Turkey. Dust measurement and screening standards should be improved and adapted to international standards and we conclude that surveillance data should be closely monitored in this region and further epidemiologic studies in this area are warranted.