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Dust exposure and coalminers' respiratory health.
Proceedings of the VIIth International Pneumoconioses Conference, August 23-26, 1988, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 90-108, 1990 Sep; (Part I):103-104
The effects of dust exposure on the respiratory health of coal miners were discussed. The risk of pneumoconiosis and other respiratory problems associated with 35 years of coal dust exposure was estimated using data from the British Coal Board Pneumoconiosis Field Research Project. The risk of pneumoconiosis increased with increasing carbon content of the coal regardless of the level of dust exposure. The risk of progressive massive fibrosis (PMF) increased steadily, smoothly with increasing mean dust concentration. This was attributed to a small, statistically significant increase in PMF risk in miners without any pneumoconiosis and a large, significant increase in PMF risk for miners with category-I simple pneumoconiosis. The risk of developing respiratory symptoms after 35 years of coal dust exposure was discussed. At a hypothetical zero dust concentration coal miners who smoked had a 7% probability of developing chronic cough and sputum production. This was three times the risk for nonsmoking coal miners. For nonsmoking coal miners who were consistently exposed to elevated coal dust concentrations, around 7mg/m3, the probability of developing chronic cough and sputum production was 18%. A similar pattern of risk was seen for dyspnea. Nonsmoking coal miners continuously exposed to 7mg/m3 coal dust had the same risk of developing decrements in 1 second forced expiratory volume as cigarette smokers not exposed to coal dust.
Risk analysis; Coal dust; Coal workers pneumoconiosis; Clinical symptoms; Cigarette smoking; Epidemiology; Occupational exposure; Pulmonary function; Synergism
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 90-108
Proceedings of the VIIth International Pneumoconioses Conference, August 23-26, 1988, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Page last reviewed: June 15, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division