NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Retrospective cohort mortality study of underground gold mine workers.
Brown-DP; Kaplan-SD; Zumwalde-RD; Archer-M
Silica, silicosis, and cancer: controversy in occupational medicine. Goldsmith DF, Winn DM, Shy CM, eds. New York: Praeger, 1986 Jan; :335-350
A retrospective cohort mortality study was conducted on 3,328 gold miners at the Homestake Mine to investigate the effects of exposure to amphibole (1332214) mineral fibers, exposure to silica dust, and accidents. The cohort comprised all white, male workers employed full time underground for at least 1 year during the period 1940 through 1964. As of 1977, there were 861 observed deaths versus 765 expected. An index of exposure, based on yearly average total dust exposure for job categories and yearly average time per shift underground, was developed. A person/years life table computer program was used for the mortality analysis. The standardized mortality ratio for all causes was greater than normal, especially considering the healthy worker effect. No association was apparent either between total dust dose and lung cancer or between latency and lung cancer. There was a slight excess mortality for lung cancer in workers first employed before 1930, when total dust exposures were generally greater; the high risk for nonmalignant respiratory disease in those first employed before 1930 may have competed with the lung cancer risk. Silica exposure measured by total dust was strongly associated with mortality due to respiratory tuberculosis and nonmalignant respiratory disease. There were excesses in mortality due to accidents (other than transportation accidents), chronic renal disease, and leukemia/aleukemia.
Mortality-rates; Lung-cancer; Humans; Epidemiology; Mine-workers; Occupational-respiratory-disease; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Silica-dusts; Asbestos-dust; Kidney-disorders
Book or book chapter
Goldsmith-DF; Winn-DM; Shy-CM
Silica, silicosis, and cancer: controversy in occupational medicine
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division