Respiratory effects of diesel exhaust in salt miners.
Am Rev Respir Dis 1983 Sep; 128(3):389-394
The respiratory effects of exposure to diesel exhaust were investigated in salt miners. The respiratory health of 259 male miners from five mines was surveyed using a respiratory questionnaire, spirometric measurements, and chest radiographs. Diesel exposure effects were evaluated by comparison of miners with high exposures to those with low exposures, and by comparing salt miners with blue collar workers not exposed to diesel exhaust. Workers in the high exposure category were an average of 15 years older and worked for 12 to 13 years longer in the salt mines than intermediate and low exposure groups. Cumulative nitrogen-dioxide and respirable particulate exposures were 5 to 12 times higher in the high exposure group than in the low exposure group. Smoking was significantly associated with increased cough and phlegm, but not with dyspnea. Twenty five percent of the miners had cough or phlegm, and 7 percent had dyspnea. No association was seen between pulmonary function and length of diesel exposure. Salt miners and comparison blue collar workers were similar in age and smoking characteristics. Prevalence of cough and phlegm was significantly higher in miners than in unexposed workers, 59 and 45 percent, respectively. There was no consistent association of smoking and respiratory symptoms. Higher exposure groups consistently had a higher ratio of observed to expected respiratory symptoms, and the differences between high and low exposure categories were significant for cough and phlegm. The authors conclude that a relationship to dose is seen in mine workers for phlegm. Diesel exposure in salt miners does not result in reductions in pulmonary function.
NIOSH-Author; Mine-workers; Respiration; Analytical-methods; Quantitative-analysis; Respiratory-protection; Respiratory-system-disorders; Breathing; Respiratory-irritants; Pulmonary-system; Air-contamination; Pulmonary-function
American Review of Respiratory Disease