Radiologists' warning on black lung X-rays

THE Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) has warned that for screening purposes, mining companies and their employees should ensure that chest X-rays are reported by a clinical radiologist who is experienced in detecting coal workers’ pneumoconiosis or black lung.
Radiologists' warning on black lung X-rays Radiologists' warning on black lung X-rays Radiologists' warning on black lung X-rays Radiologists' warning on black lung X-rays Radiologists' warning on black lung X-rays

 

Lou Caruana

This follows the re-emergence of three cases of black lung in Queensland coal mines, which has not been seen in Australia for the last 20 years, and criticism of that state’s handling and reading of coal miner chest X-rays.

RANZCR president-elect Gregory Slater said: “Clinical radiologists in Australia have been participating in clinically appropriate and effective disease screening programs for many years.

“There is ample local expertise amongst our members to meet the current demand for coal mine workers screening X-rays.”

"B-Reader" certification is only issued by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health in the United States and is not applicable to clinical radiologists in Australia.

As well as training in the pathology and radiology of pneumoconiosis that is received by all radiology trainees in Australia, some RANZCR radiologists have developed or are willing to develop further experience and skill in the reporting of screening chest X-rays according to the ILO Classification.

These radiologists are able to provide reports that are equivalent to reports provided by Level “B” readers overseas.

“RANZCR is willing to assist by compiling a register of clinical radiologists who can report to the ILO classification of radiographs of pneumoconiosis,” it said. “It is anticipated that the register will shortly be made available to key stakeholders, including the employers of coal mine workers.”

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