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Pulmonary air space size in coal miners.
Hankinson JL; Palmes ED; Lapp NL
Am Rev Respir Dis 1979 Mar; 119(3):391-397
The relationship between differences in aerosol deposition patterns and variations in response to coal mine dust was investigated. Data on pulmonary functions, including chest radiographs and spirometric results, was collected from 127 working coal miners (SIC-1211). A questionnaire on occupational, smoking, and respiratory history was administered. Subjects inhaled 1.0 liter of aerosol, held their breath for times ranging from 0 to 30 seconds, and exhaled. Inhaled and exhaled aerosol concentrations were measured by a light scattering technique. Groups of miners with radiographic opacities were older and had spent more years working underground than miners with no radiographic lesions. Maximum expiratory flow at 50 percent of vital capacity was reduced only in miners with radiographic lesions. Miners with no pneumoconiosis or with type-q opacities had a mean aerosol halflife similar to control values. Miners with type- p opacities had a mean aerosol halflife that was significantly longer than controls and miners with type-q opacities. Miners with type-p opacities had a smaller average percentage of aerosol recovered at the end of a nonbreathholding maneuver. This phenomenon was also associated with cigarette smoking and symptoms of bronchitis. The authors conclude that underground coal miners with type-p pneumoconiosis have narrower small conducting airways and abnormally large peripheral air spaces. They suggest that these differences are related to the reaction of coal miners to dust deposition and cigarette smoking.
NIOSH-Author; Mineral-dusts; Dispersion; Pulmonary-function; Mine-workers; Health-surveys; Lung-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders
Issue of Publication
American Review of Respiratory Disease
Page last reviewed: December 18, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division