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Retrospective Cohort Mortality Study Of Underground Gold Mine Workers.

Brown-DP; Kaplan-SD; Zumwalde-RD; Archer-VE
NIOSH 1984:7-55
A study of mortality in underground gold mine workers (SIC-1041) was conducted. The cohort consisted of 3,328 miners who worked in fulltime underground jobs at the Homestake gold mine, South Dakota, for at least one year between 1940 and 1965. The vital status of the cohort was determined as of June 1, 1977. For all workers identified as deceased, the underlying cause of death was determined. Estimates of risks for specific causes of death were calculated as standardized mortality ratios. Previously obtained dust exposure data was utilized. A total of 861 deaths were observed, versus 765 expected. The overall risk for lung cancer was 43, versus 43 expected. There were no apparent trends in lung cancer mortality with increasing latency or with increasing length of underground employment. There was a highly statistically significant risk for nonmalignant respiratory disease and respiratory tuberculosis, 53 observed versus 19.00 expected and 36 observed versus 9.94 expected, respectively. Exposure to silica measured as total dust was strongly correlated with mortality due to tuberculosis and nonmalignant respiratory disease. Excess mortality due to non transportation accidents (58 observed versus 17.5 expected), chronic kidney disease (8 observed versus 5.0 expected), and leukemia and aleukemia (10 versus 5.9 expected deaths) also occurred. The authors conclude that there is no association between lung cancer and dust exposures in the mine. The deaths due to nonmalignant respiratory disease and tuberculosis are associated with exposures experienced at the mine.
Occupational-hazards; Analytical-methods; Health-hazards; Mining-industry; Exposure-levels; Mortality-rates; Dust-exposure; Industrial-exposures; Quantitative-analysis; Pulmonary-system; Workplace-studies;
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings;
Fiscal Year
Priority Area
Infectious Diseases; Disease and Injury; Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; Pulmonary-system;
SIC Code
Source Name
Proceedings of the Third NCI/EPA/NIOSH Collaborative Workshop: Progress on Joint Environmental and Occupational Cancer Studies
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division