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Methodology for quantitative assessment of risks from chronic respiratory damage: lung function decline and associated mortality from coal dust.

Silver-K; Hattis-D
Center for Technology, Policy and Industrial Development, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1991 May; :1-62
The 1 second forced expiratory volume (FEV1) was used as a predictor of excess general mortality and as an indicator of progressive deterioration to respiratory impairment as a result of exposure to coal dust. Data on 1,362 coal miners who had never smoked were used. The adequacy of nine different linear regression models for representing the effects of coal dust, age and height on FEV1 were compared. The data regarding the effects of working lifetime exposures to concentrations of coal dust up to and including the current mandated maximum level of United States mines were summarized. It was noted that the mortality and morbidity effects projected were appreciable in relation to those that have motivated previous efforts toward additional control of other occupational health hazards. Relatively large amounts of interindividual variability were noted in susceptibility for the processes leading to chronic bronchitis. Moderate amounts of interindividual variability in susceptibility to the production of the radiographic changes that define various grades of coal workers' pneumoconiosis were noted. Inconclusive evidence was gained for interindividual variability in the chronic cumulative reduction of FEV1 in response to coal dust. The authors conclude that significant additional public health benefits are likely to result from reducing exposures to below 2mg/m3.
Coal-miners; Mining-industry; Mineral-dusts; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-function-tests; Mortality-data; Epidemiology; Pulmonary-function;
Publication Date
Document Type
Final Cooperative Agreement Report
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement; Interagency Agreement
Fiscal Year
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NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Source Name
Center for Technology, Policy and Industrial Development, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 62 pages, 32 references
Performing Organization
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division