A series of 100 full size radiographs illustrating the range of asbestos related radiographic changes was collected by the Asbestos International Association to provide a demonstration and teaching supplement to the ILO 1980 International Classification of the Radiographic Appearances of Pneumoconioses. Each film was read by 12 experienced readers from ten countries; the readings have been summarised by a median reading, with the range covered by two thirds of the readers. The occupational histories and some relevant clinical information are also available. It is proposed that, in the use of this set, readers should classify each film using the ILO classification rules, particularly without reference to the summary reading or the additional information. Comparing the individual readings by the 12 readers, most of the variation in reading the profusion of small opacities was ascribable only to random variation, with little consistent bias between readers. By contrast, two readers recorded pleural changes much more frequently than their colleagues. This illustrated a major problem with the ILO 1980 Classification. Several others which occurred in this reading trial are also discussed.
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