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Evaluation of Fifteen Epidemiologic Studies Examining the Lung Cancer Mortality of Underground Miners.
NIOSH 1985 May:123 pages
A group of 15 epidemiologic studies was identified in which researchers reported excess lung cancer deaths among underground miners who worked in mines where radon (10043922) progeny were present. Several other studies demonstrated a dose response relationship existing between radon progeny exposure and mortality from lung cancer. Two recent studies indicated excess numbers of cases of lung cancer deaths resulting from mean cumulative radon progeny exposures below 100 Working Level Months (WLM). In the mining environment exposure can also occur to other substances such as arsenic (1332214), diesel exhaust, smoking, chromium (7440473), nickel (7440020), and radiation, which can affect the lung cancer risk resulting from exposure to radon progeny. Not much was available in the literature which deals with the results of these combined exposures except the finding that a combined exposure to radon progeny and cigarette smoke resulted in a higher risk than exposure to either substance alone. X-ray surveillance and sputum cytology appeared to be ineffective in preventing radon progeny induced lung cancers in individual miners. There does not appear to be any particular association between one specific lung cancer cell type and radon progeny exposure. It is technically feasible for the mining industry to meet a standard lower than the current annual exposure limit of 4WLM. NIOSH recommends that the annual radon progeny permissible exposure limit of 4WLM be lowered.
Radiation-hazards; Miners; Underground-miners; Coal-miners; Uranium-mining; Respiratory-system-disorders; Cancer-rates; Risk-factors; Lung-cancer;
10043-92-2; 1332-21-4; 7440-47-3; 7440-02-0;
NTIS Accession No.
Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; Disease and Injury; Respiratory-system-disorders;
Division of Standards Development and Technology Transfer, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio, 123 pages
Page last reviewed: September 11, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division