Most cases of silicosis are the result of inhaling dust that is not pure silica. An example is the disease caused by dust generated in the mining and processing of hard coal in Pennsylvania. The disease produced by this dust is termed anthracosilicosis and answers all the definition requirements of an occupational disease. Locally it is called "miners' asthma." It must, however, be differentiated from the pathologic state anthracosis, common among most city dwellers.
Our remarks are based on a recent medical, engineering and statistical study1 by the Public Health Service of (a) practically all the personnel of three representative mines, numbering 2,711, (b) 135 apparently tuberculous-free, disabled former anthracite workers who were studied intensively in hospitals, and (c) limited observations on the disease as observed in a tuberculosis sanatorium of Pennsylvania. It is our intention to outline briefly certain aspects of medical interest in anthracosilicosis.