Coal Worker's Pneumoconiosis Make an Appointment Find a Doctor Ask a Question Reviewed by E Brigitte Gottschall, MD (October 01, 2014) Coal worker’s pneumoconiosis or Black Lung is a work-related lung disease caused by breathing in coal mine dust. The coal mine dust accumulates in the lung and triggers an inflammatory reaction that eventually leads to destruction of lung tissue and scarring. Coal worker’s pneumoconiosis typically develops as a result of breathing in coal mine dust over many years, but the disease can occur and progress rapidly after short periods of intense exposure. Clinical Trials For more than 100 years, National Jewish Health has been committed to finding new treatments and cures for diseases. Search our clinical trials.