Short-Term Prospective Spirometric Study of New Coal Miners.
NIOSH 1982 Sep:76 pages
A prospective study of 116 new coal miners was conducted in West Virginia to determine adverse occupational pulmonary effects. The cohort of new miners was followed from just prior to employment through 2 years of underground work. Subjects completed medical questionnaires and spirometry measurements were taken before and after work shifts. Changes in lung function over the work shift were compared. There was a 1.9 percent drop in forced expiratory volume (FEV1) over the first 6 month work shift. Miners who exhibited a shift decrement in FEV1 greater than 5 percent at the end of the first 6 month shift also exhibited accelerated annual decrement in lung function over the 2 year period. There was substantial intrasubject variability in lung function. The annual decrements in lung function in the new miners were directly related to length of employment and exposure to coal dust. There was a statistically significant increase in reported symptoms of bronchitis at the end of the 2 year period. The authors suggest that acute changes may not be influenced by length of employment. Because of measurement variability, longitudinal studies of at least 5 years are needed to detect small annual decrements in lung function.
NIOSH-Author; Physiological-response; Pulmonary-function; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Physiological-testing; Dust-inhalation; Worker-health; Exposure-limits; Lung-irritants;
NTIS Accession No.
Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; Disease and Injury; Pulmonary-system-disorders;
Clinical Investigations Branch, NIOSH, Morgantown, West Virginia, NTIS PB83-237-446, 76 pages, 10 references