Chronic respiratory effects of exposure to diesel emissions in coal mines.
Ames RG; Hall DS; Reger RB
Arch Environ Health 1984 Nov; 39(6):389-394
Chronic respiratory effects were studied in underground coal miners exposed to diesel fumes. Respiratory function measurements were made on 280 underground miners exposed to diesel fumes and 838 comparison underground miners with no diesel exposure. Measurements made through spirometry, in 1977 and again in 1982, included forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), and forced expiratory flow at 50 percent of FVC. Through questionnaires, occupational and smoking history and occurrence of chronic symptoms such as shortness of breath and cough were determined at both time points. In 1977 diesel exhaust concentrations were measured and averaged. Miners were divided into Eastern and Western groups of United States mine locations. Diesel exposed miners had smaller 5 year decrements in FVC and FEV1 than comparisons from East or West when smoking and years employed underground were controlled. Changes in expiratory flow at 50 percent of FVC were not consistent. Diesel miners had lower incidence of chronic symptoms reported over the 5 year period. Diesel concentrations in the mines were always 25 percent or less of concentrations allowed under current standards. No dose/response relationship was found for chronic respiratory changes in function or symptoms. The authors conclude that exposure to diesel emissions at these concentrations found in coal mines has not been shown to be associated with chronic respiratory effects in underground miners.
NIOSH-Author; Medical-research; Humans; Employee-exposure; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-respiratory-disease; Diesel-exhausts; Lung-function; Physiological-measurements; Quantitative-analysis; Chronic-exposure; Medical-surveys
Archives of Environmental Health