Preliminary Findings of an Epidemiologic Study of Talc Workers.
Gamble-J; Greife-A; Hancock-J
NIOSH 1980 May:241-275
The long term respiratory effects of occupational exposure to talc (14807966) were studied. Medical and work histories were obtained from 299 workers engaged in mining and milling talc in Montana, Texas, and North Carolina. Chest radiograms and standard respiratory function tests were administered. Cumulative talc dust exposure was estimated from personal environmental samples. Prevalence of symptoms and pleural thickening were compared to those in populations mining potash and mining coal above ground and underground, stratified by age and adjusted for smoking. Average cumulative exposure was highest for the Texas workers, intermediate for the Montana workers, and lowest for the North Carolina workers. The prevalence of cough, phlegm, dyspnea, pleural thickening, and decreased pulmonary function increased with age in all three study groups. The prevalence of cough, phlegm, and dyspnea did not increase with increasing years worked or increasing cumulative exposure. Pleural thickening increased with increasing years worked but not with increased cumulative exposure. Respiratory obstruction increased with years worked in the Montana and North Carolina populations but not with increased cumulative exposure. Rates of cough, phlegm, dyspnea, and respiratory obstruction were about the same in the talc and other mining populations, but the talc workers had a higher incidence of pleural thickening than all other populations. The authors conclude that talc exposure had no strong or consistent effect on respiratory function but note that the sample size was small, exposure time in years was short, and estimates of exposure may not have reflected actual exposure.
Mineral-dusts; Silicates; Health-surveys; Epidemiology; Dust-inhalation; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Pulmonary-function;
Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; Disease and Injury; Pulmonary-system-disorders;
Proceedings of the First NCI/EPA/NIOSH Collaborative Workshop: Progress on Joint Environmental and Occupational Cancer Studies, May 6-8, 1980, Rockville, Maryland, H. F. Kraybill, I. C. Blackwood, and N. B. Freas, Eds. National Cancer Institute, Environmental Protection Agency, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health