The ILO joins national stakeholders in the fight against pneumoconiosis in China

Press release | Dalian, China | 23 July 2019
ILO/NHC Round Table on Prevention of Pneumoconiosis in Dalian
The ILO and the National Health Commission (NHC) gathered with representatives of 18 Chinese Provinces and occupational health managers of important companies to exchange views and best practices on the prevention and control of pneumoconiosis. Exposure to dust hazard is the main cause of this incurable but yet preventable disease.

The seminar took place on July 16 in Dalian and followed the adoption of the first ever National Action Plan on the Prevention and Control of Pneumoconiosis, demonstrating the commitment of the Chinese government to fight the occupational disease. According to national statistics, pneumoconiosis accounts for nearly 90% of all reported occupational diseases in China. The seminar provided an opportunity for key stakeholders, including the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, occupational health service providers and academics, to put forward proposals in support of the implementation of the National Action Plan.

Wu Zongzhi, Director-General of Occupational Health Department of the NHC, welcomed the ILO’s support in improving occupational health in China. "Knowing about international experience and good practices is important to help us in the fight against pneumoconiosis", he said.

Claire Courteille-Mulder, Director of the ILO Country Office for China and Mongolia, called for joint efforts to win the battle against pneumoconiosis. “The ILO has been in this fight for over 90 years and some countries have managed to substantially reduce the incidence of the disease. The fight against pneumoconiosis can be won in China and indeed everywhere in the world as it is a preventable disease”, she said.

Occupational safety and health is at the heart of the ILO’s mandate. Key international labour Conventions related to pneumoconiosis include Convention No. 176 on Safety and Health in Mines and Convention No 161 on occupational health services . In addition, the ILO has issued the Guidelines for the use of the ILO International Classification of Radiographs of Pneumoconiosis and a number of other tools and instruments to guide member States in their preventive work.