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Dust exposure and respiratory disease in U.S. coal miners.
Occupational Health Program, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 1990 Jan; :1-270
The effectiveness of dust standards set by the Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 were investigated in preventing obstructive lung disease. This investigation was carried out by considering the exposure response relationship in a group of 1270 miners whose exposure began in or after 1970 when the regulations took effect. Over a 15 year period the results of the study indicated statistically significant positive associations of cumulative exposure with decrements in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), FEV1/forced vital capacity (FVC), and symptoms of chronic bronchitis, breathlessness and wheeze with shortness of breath. As a result of the act, these miners were exposed to dust concentrations generally less than 2.0mg/m3. The study suggested that miners entering exposure for the first time in 1970 or later, experienced a rapid initial loss of pulmonary function in relation to their cumulative exposure to dust. The losses were observed in both FVC and FEV1 suggesting that the effect was primarily on lung volumes. Over the following 12 years there was little additional exposure related loss. The author concludes that the regulations have not been completely successful in preventing respiratory effects from exposure to coal mine dust. Several potential biases in exposure estimates were identified including errors in sampling pump calibration, the rejection of samples with over sized particles and the conversion of data obtained with the 10 millimeter cyclone to the MRE equivalent concentration.
NIOSH-Grant; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-function-tests; Coal-dust; Dust-exposure; Respirable-dust; Occupational-exposure
Environmental & Indust Health University of Michigan Dept of Envir/indust Health AN Arbor, MI 48109-2029
Final Grant Report
NTIS Accession No.
Occupational Health Program, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division