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Respiratory health status of gilsonite workers.
Keimig DG; Castellan RM; Kullman GJ; Kinsley KB
Am J Ind Med 1987 Mar; 11(3):287-296
The respiratory health status of workers at gilsonite (12002436) mines was surveyed at the only two sites of gilsonite mining, eastern Utah and western Colorado. A cross sectional survey of 100 male workers from three of the four mining sites was conducted. Workers were given a questionnaire concerning respiratory symptoms, smoking habits, demographic information and occupational history. Spirometry and chest radiography were performed. Airborne concentrations of respirable dust, total dust, and respirable crystalline silica (14808607) in personal breathing zone and area samples were analyzed. Miners and miner's helpers had mean concentrations of respirable dust above the recommended nuisance particulate Threshold Limit Value (TLV) of 5mg/m3; two of 20 respirable dust samples had crystalline silica concentrations which exceeded the TLV for quartz containing dust. Five percent of the workers had radiographic evidence of pneumoconiosis. Workers with high exposure jobs showed increased prevalence of phlegm and cough but without any evidence of pulmonary impairment. The authors recommend reduction of exposure levels for workers with current high exposure. The continued monitoring of health effects of gilsonite is also recommended.
NIOSH-Author; Mine-workers; Hydrocarbons; Dust-exposure; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Chest-X-rays; Mineral-dusts; Air-sampling; Author Keywords: gilsonite dust; bronchitis; pneumoconiosis; occupational diseases
Robert M. Castellan MD, Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, NIOSH, 944 Chestnut Ridge Road, Morgantown, WV 26505
Issue of Publication
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
CO; UT; WV
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division