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Bronchoalveolar lavage in asymptomatic underground coal miners.
Lapp-NL; Lewis-D; Schwegler-Berry-D; Abrons-H; Kung-M; Castranova-V
Respirable dust in the mineral industries, proceedings of the 3rd symposium on respirable dust in the mineral industries, October 17-19, 1990, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Frantz RL, Ramani RV, eds. Littleton, CO: Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc., 1991 Jan; :159-169
Lung cells and fluid obtained from bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) of 12 active asymptomatic coal miners and 18 unexposed controls were compared to determine if cellular or immunological abnormalities existed in miners with no detectable pneumoconiosis. The miners had worked an average of 17 years in underground mines, had never smoked, and displayed no pulmonary dysfunction. No significant differences were observed in number of alveolar macrophages, lymphocytes, or granulocytes. No differences were measured in recoverable lavage volumes or mean alveolar macrophage cell volumes. Visually, cells isolated from coal miners were blackened by the inclusion of coal mine dust while cells from control subjects had few inclusions. Cells from exposed miners and controls had comparable levels of chemiluminescence (CL) at rest and when stimulated with phorbol-myristic-acetate. Cells from miners had significantly lower levels of zymosan induced CL. Phagocytic cells from miners had a more ruffled appearance than control cells under scanning electron microscopy. No differences in relative or absolute numbers of lymphocytes in the two groups were detected by flow cytometry. Immunoglobulin-A (IgA) was detected by solid phase fluorescent immunoassay in BAL fluids of five out of eight miner samples but in only one of 13 control samples assayed. Radial immunodiffusion assay of the samples found no significant differences in IgA levels of miners and control but did detect significantly lower total protein in BAL fluids from miners. The authors conclude that under the present dust standard, most BAL parameters were normal in underground miners and that observed surface ruffles and decreased particle stimulated CL may be signs of particle overload.
Dust-exposure; Occupational-exposure; Underground-miners; Coal-miners; Coal-dust; Lung-cells; Alveolar-cells; Pulmonary-disorders; Respiratory-system-disorders; Coal-workers-pneumoconiosis; Immunoglobulins; Humans
Respirable dust in the mineral industries, proceedings of the 3rd symposium on respirable dust in the mineral industries, October 17-19, 1990, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
WV; PA; CO
West Virginia University
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division