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Coal dust particle size and respiratory disease.

Robins TG; Seixas NS
Occupational Health Program, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 1994 Jan; :1-40
The characterization of coal dust particle size and the potential significance of tracheo/bronchial dust estimates was presented in a final performance report. A total of 180 coal dust samples were obtained from four underground Appalachian mines using an eight stage personal cascade impactor. Analysis of particle size distributions showed little variability between occupations or groups of occupations, or in the ratio of respirable to tracheo/bronchial dust fractions. A paper unpublished at the time of this report detailing data collection and findings was attached. The homogeneity of the findings made comparisons of particle size specific fractions to historical data infeasible. Data from a cohort of 977 underground miners attending Round Two and Round Four of the National Study of Coal Workers' Pneumoconiosis (NSCWP) were prospectively analyzed to examine the relationship between respirable dust exposure and symptoms of bronchitis and pulmonary function variables. A steep exposure/response relationship between dust exposure and incidence of bronchitis symptoms within a few years of initial exposure were observed. A strong relationship between bronchitis symptoms and the loss of pulmonary functions was also determined. A model was developed to relate cumulative exposure to low level coal dust and reduction in forced expiratory volume in 1 second. The authors conclude that respirable dust measurements were comparable to respirable exposure fractions in the prediction of obstructive disease.
NIOSH-Grant; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Coal-dust; Dust-exposure; Occupational-exposure; Coal-miners; Mining-industry
Environmental & Indust Health University of Michigan 1420 Washington Heights AN Arbor, MI 48109-2029
Publication Date
Document Type
Final Grant Report
Funding Amount
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
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NIOSH Division
Source Name
Occupational Health Program, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Performing Organization
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Page last reviewed: February 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division