Occupational Safety and Health Series No. 22 (Rev. 2011)

Guidelines for the use of the ILO International Classification of Radiographs of Pneumoconioses, Revised edition 2011

This revised (2011) edition of the Guidelines for the use of the ILO International Classification of Radiographs of Pneumoconioses extends the applicability of the Classification to digital radiographic images of the chest, as described in a new chapter 6 (page 14). Chapters 1 through 5 are identical to those that appeared in the preceding (2000) edition of the Guidelines. That text remains applicable as written for classifying conventional film-screen radiographs and the associated sets of ILO standard radiographs remain available from the ILO.


Scope of the Classification
The Classification provides a means for describing and recording systematically the radiographic abnormalities in the chest provoked by the inhalation of dusts. It is used to describe radiographic abnormalities that occur in any type of pneumoconiosis and is designed for classifying only the appearances seen on postero-anterior chest radiographs. Other views and imaging techniques may be required for clinical assessment of individuals, but the ILO International Classification has not been designed to code such findings.

Object of the Classification
The object of the Classification is to codify the radiographic abnormalities of the pneumoconioses in a simple, reproducible manner. The Classification neither defines pathological entities nor takes into account working capacity. It does not imply legal definitions of pneumoconioses for compensation purposes and does not set or imply a level at which compensation is payable.

Uses of the Classification
The Classification is used internationally for epidemiological research, for screening and surveillance of those in dusty occupations, and for clinical purposes. Use of the scheme may lead to better international comparability of data concerning the pneumoconioses.

Standard radiographs and written definitions
The Classification consists of a set of standard radiographs and this text, with the accompanying footnotes. These footnotes are intended to reduce ambiguity and are based on experience with earlier editions of the ILO Classification. In some parts of the scheme, the standard radiographs take precedence over the written definitions. The text makes it clear when this is so.