As part of the Periodic X-ray Scheme of the National Coal Board (NCB), a comparison is made between the previous and new films of all miners who were face-workers on the former occasion, five years earlier. This assessment is made by distributing the films randomly to all the NCB readers. This paper compares the rank of coal mined in each colliery with each colliery's percentage prevalence of pneumoconiosis of at least ILO category 1 in the films of previous face-workers obtained during the third survey round (1969-73). Of the NCB's 291 collieries in Britain, information enabling a rank classification to be made was available for 250, employing 62 362 face-workers. In these 250 mines a progressive and five-fold increase in prevalence was observed from collieries mining low-rank (bituminous) coal to those mining coal of high ranks (anthracite and high-grade steam and coking coal). A possible reason for this is that, in the past, high-rank collieries may have had the highest mass-concentrations of respirable dust.
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