Get the CD, Book or Download the Glossary

List of Miner's Related Diseases & Terminology


The term refers to the gaseous mixture in mines after an explosion of gas. The chief products of a firedamp explosion are carbon dioxide, watery vapor, nitrogen and CO. When a large body of gas has been exploded and the air of the mine does not furnish sufficient oxygen for the complete combustion of firedamp, a large amount of carbon monoxide may be present in the afterdamp. [Kober1916]


Miners' Anemia


A chronic lung disease, common among coal miners, due to the inhalation of coal dust; -- called also (collier's lung} and {miner's phthisis}. [Webster1913].

 Fibroid phthisis caused by the inhalation of coal dust. [Kober1916]

Black Consumption

Anthracosis, Black Lung Disease

Black Lung /Disease

Anthracosis. [Appleton1904].

A chronic occupational lung disease contracted by the prolonged breathing of coal mine dust. The silica and carbon in the coal dust cause black lung disease. About one of every 20 miners studied in the US has X-ray evidence of black lung disease, a form of pneumoconiosis. In its early stages, called simple pneumoconiosis, the disease does not prevent the miner from working or carrying on most normal activities. In some miners, the disease never becomes more severe. In other miners, the disease progresses from simple to complicated pneumoconiosis, a condition also called progressive massive fibrosis. Pneumoconiosis is not reversible. There is no specific treatment. Black lung disease has gone by many names, including anthracosis, black lung, black spittle, coal worker's pneumoconiosis, miner's asthma, and silicosis. [Medicinenet].

Black Phthisis

Anthracosis, Miner's Asthma. [Dunglison1874].

Black Spittle

Anthracosis, Black Lung Disease


A noncombustible gas that consists of a mixture of carbon dioxide and nitrogen, found in mines after fires or explosions and incapable of supporting life. [Heritage]

Carbonic Acid This gas, which neither supports respiration nor combustion, is not often used in medicine. It is the main agent in effervescent draughts, fermenting poultices, etc. It is often found occupying the lower parts of mines - when it is called the choke damp - caverns, tombs, wells, brewers' vats, etc., and not unfrequently has been the cause of death. [Dunglison1868]
Choke Damp A name applied by miners to all irrespirable gases, but more especially to carbonic acid gas. [Thomas1875]

Coal Lung

Coal Miner's Phthisis, Anthracosis

Coal Miner's Lung

Anthracosis, Black Lung Disease

Coal Miner's Phthisis


Coal Worker's Pneumoconiosis

Anthracosis, Black Lung Disease

Collier's Asthma

A well-defined medical entity resulting from the depositions of coal mine dust in the lung and from the reaction to the deposited dust resulting in coal macules, coal nodules, and progressive massive fibrosis. [EuropeanUnion].

Collier: One engaged in the business of digging mineral coal or making charcoal, or in transporting or dealing in coal. [Webster1913].

Collier's Lung

Anthracosis, Black Lung Disease

Collier: One engaged in the business of digging mineral coal or making charcoal, or in transporting or dealing in coal. [Webster1913].

Damp The permanently elastic fluids which are extricated in mines. These are choke-damp, or carbolic acid; and fire-damp, consisting almost solely of light carburated hydrogen, exploding on contact with a light. [Hoblyn1855]

A term applied to noxious gases found in mines. [Thomas1875]

Egyptian Chlorosis

Miners' Anemia

Fire Damp A name given by miners to the explosive gas, consisting chiefly of light carbureted hydrogen, found in mines. [Thomas1875]

The constituents of firedamp are methane and air. It is of special importance as marsh gas, in the proportion of 1 to 13 of air, forms an explosive mixture, which reaches its maximum violence when the proportion of carburated hydrogen is 1 to 9 1/2. [Kober1916]

Labrador Lung A type of mixed dust pneumoconiosis occurring in iron miners in western Labrador, caused by a mixture of particles of iron, silica, and some anthophyllite (a variety of amphibole asbestos). [Dorland]

Marsh Gas

Also known as light carburated hydrogen and methane, is the product of decomposition of carbonous matter, which has taken place with the exclusion of air and in the presence of water. It is one of the characteristic occluded gases of coal mines. [Kober1916]


A malignant tumor of the covering of the lung or the lining of the pleural and abdominal cavities, often associated with exposure to asbestos. [RandomHouse]

Milk Reek

A form of tremor saturninus, or lead tremors, occurring among miners at the lead hills; "the extremities tremble and are convulsed." [Hoblyn1900].

Minerís Anemia

The disease, resulting from the presence of the intestinal parasite Ankylostoma duodenale, observed in miners and workers in tunnels. [Appleton1904]

Miner's Asthma

Pneumoconiosis. A condition met with in miners, being a form of severe bronchitic disease, in consequence of the peculiar atmosphere breathed by them. [Dunglison1874].

Anthracosis. [Appleton1904].

The term miner's asthma was first used in 1822. The cause of the spitting, coughing, and breathlessness in coal miners was unknown, so doctors used the word asthma to identify the condition. Later, silicosis became known as the disease producing breathlessness in miners who had worked where silica was thought to be in the coal mine dust. [Medicinenet].

Miner's Consumption

Anthracosis, Pneumoconiosis

Miner's Elbow

An enlargement of a bursa over the olecranon, occurring in such as habitually lean upon it; often seen in those who work on the side in low-roofed mines. [Dunglison1874]

Miner's Lung

Coal workers' pneumoconiosis. [Dorland].

Minerís Nystagmus

A form of nystagmus found in miners who work several hours in a recumbent position in a dim light, with the eyes directed to one side. [Hoblyn1900].

Nystagmus in coal mines. [NomDis1961]

Nystagmus: A rapid, involuntary, oscillatory motion of the eyeball.

Miner's Phthisis

Anthracosis, Pneumoconiosis

Pneumoconiosis / Pneumonoconiosis / Pneumonokoniosis

A disease arising from the inhalation of dust, as of coal, iron, etc. See Anthracosis, Siderosis. [Dunglison1874]

Rand Minerís Phthisis

Silicosis. [NomDis1961]

The Rand: a rocky gold-bearing ridge in South Africa, about thirty miles long, on which Johannesburg is situated; also, the gold-mining district including this ridge.


Fibroid phthisis caused by the inhalation of silicous particles. [Kober1916].

 Pneumoconiosis characterized by massive fibrosis of the lungs resulting in shortness of breath and caused by prolonged inhalation of silica dusts. [Webster].

Fact sheet from WHO


Sulphureted hydrogen, may be found occasionally as an occluded gas in coal seams, and in mines is usually the product of decomposition of pyrites in the presence of moisture. It is a blood poison, as it takes away the oxyhemoglobin, and is generally recognized by miners as "stinkdamp" on account of the odor resembling that of rotten eggs.

Mining Accidents  

Explosion of Powder

Example from an 1889 Death Record from Michigan

Fall in Mine

Example from an 1882 Death Record from Michigan

Fall of Coal

Example from a 1907 Death Record from West Virginia

Injury in two Lick Mine

Example from a 1907 Death Record from West Virginia

Killed by Explosion of Dynamite

Example from an 1889 Death Record from Michigan

Killed in Mine

Example from a 1907 Death Record from West Virginia

Killed in Mine by Blasting

Example from an 1889 Death Record from Michigan

Killed in Mine Crushed by Skip

Example from an 1889 Death Record from Michigan

Killed in Mine Disaster

Example from a 1907 Death Record from West Virginia

Mine Accident

Example from a 1907 Death Record from West Virginia

Powder Explosion

Example from a 1907 Death Record from West Virginia