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Assessment of potential biases in the application of MSHA respirable coal mine dust data to an epidemiologic study.
Seixas NS; Robins TG; Rice CH; Moulton LH
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 1990 Oct; 51(10):534-540
An assessment of potential systematic errors was undertaken as part of the preparation to apply respirable coal mine dust exposure data collected by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to a study of the pulmonary status of underground coal miners. Potential errors stemming from adjustment of controls during sampling, concentration dependent sampling, truncation of sampling results, identified sampling equipment problems, and a disproportionate number of low concentration samples in mine operator collected samples were identified and evaluated. Methods to account for these errors and adjust mean exposures by mine, occupation, and year are given. Five potential biases that may affect the estimation of mean exposures for underground coal mines using MSHA compliance data have been evaluated. Adjustments made by inspectors or mine operators during MSHA inspections make data obtained by inspectors on face occupations unreliable for exposure estimation. Concentration dependent sampling by both operators and inspectors on face occupations may yield a positively biased mean. This problem may be avoided by estimating exposures as the mean of mine section means. Truncation of sample concentrations to the nearest decimal place will yield, overall, a bias of -0.03 or -0.05mg/m3.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Coal-mining; Mining-industry; Occupational-exposure; Dust-sampling; Epidemiology; Coal-dust; Respirable-dust
Environmental & Indust Health University of Michigan Dept of Envir/indust Health AN Arbor, MI 48109-2029
Issue of Publication
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Page last reviewed: September 4, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division