Kaolin Pneumoconiosis in a Georgia Mill.
Sepulveda-J; Vallayathan-V; Stettler-LE; Piacitelli-L; Tucker-JH
Health Issues Related to Metal and Nonmetallic Mining 1983:331-344
Results of a health hazard evaluation conducted by NIOSH at a kaolin mill (SIC-3295) in Georgia were summarized. Area and personal air samples were analyzed for respirable dust, crystalline silica (7631869), fibers, and trace metals. Medical evaluations including lung function testing and chest X-ray examinations were performed on 49 current and 21 former workers. The workers were administered a modified version of the British Research Medical Research Council Respiratory questionnaire. Lung tissue biopsy samples from two workers were examined. Airborne dust samples had an elemental composition corresponding to 96 percent kaolinite (12141467) and 4 percent titanium-dioxide (13463677). Total dust exposures at three work stations exceeded 10 milligrams per cubic meter. Baghouse and bin related work had the highest dust exposures. Five mill work stations adjacent to pulverizers and the baghouse had respirable dust fractions exceeding 50 percent. Other locations had 10 to 20 percent respirable dust fractions. No crystalline silica was found in the respirable dust samples. Pneumoconiosis was present in 11 percent of the current workers. Former workers with 5 or more years of kaolin exposure had a 19 percent prevalence rate of pneumoconiosis. Three of eight workers with pneumoconiosis exhibited restrictive, obstructive, and mixed deficits in their lung function. All had prominent smoking histories. The two biopsy specimens exhibited nodular lesions and diffuse fibrosis. The authors conclude that pneumoconiosis has been documented in a group of kaolin workers and that crystalline silica free kaolinite has a definite pathogenic potential.
Health-hazards; Air-sampling; Epidemiology; Particulate-dust; Respirable-dust; Lung-disorders; Lung-fibrosis; Lung-tissue; Mineral-dusts; Occupational-exposure;
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Health Issues Related to Metal and Nonmetallic Mining