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Is silica or radon daughters the important factor in the excess lung cancer among underground miners?

Authors
Archer-VE; Roscoe-JR; Brown-D
Source
Silica, silicosis, and cancer: controversy in occupational medicine. Goldsmith DF, Winn DM, Shy CM, eds. New York: Praeger, 1986 Jan; :375-384
Link
NIOSHTIC No.
00171363
Abstract
Rates of silicosis and lung cancer were compared among five mining and milling groups selected on the basis of degrees of their exposures to quartz (14808607) dust and radon daughters. Comparison of groups of miners with different levels of exposure was used to determine the respective effects of the two agents on lung cancer incidence. When quartz dust levels were high, silicosis rates were high, but lung cancer rates were not consistent; when radiation levels were high, respiratory cancer rates were high, but pneumoconiosis rates were not consistent. Results indicated that the two effects of mine exposures were largely independent, although there may have been some minor interaction between the two disease producing agents. The Swedish mining experience in which ventilation flowed through old mine workings to warm the air was particularly helpful. The use of large volumes of air lowered the airborne quartz concentrations greatly but tended to increase the radon daughter levels. The frequency of silicosis was markedly reduced in later mining cohorts whereas the lung cancer rates either rose or remained unchanged. According to the authors, results suggest that silica and radon daughter exposures are associated with different diseases and act independently. Epidemiological evidence appeared to rule out a major role for silica in respiratory cancer in underground miners.
Keywords
Lung-cancer; Humans; Epidemiology; Quartz-dust; Air-contamination; Radiation-exposure; Mine-workers; Occupational-respiratory-disease; Cancer-rates
CAS No.
14808-60-7
Publication Date
19860101
Document Type
Book or book chapter
Editors
Goldsmith-DF; Winn-DM; Shy-CM
Fiscal Year
1986
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
ISBN No.
9780275913052
NIOSH Division
DSHEFS
Source Name
Silica, silicosis, and cancer: controversy in occupational medicine
State
ME; OH
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