Health risks from quartz dust in coalmining

Project No. FFFF 0190

Status:

completed 12/2001

Aims:

Exposition to silica dust may lead to lung cancer. Most of epidemiological studies suffer from weak longitudinal exposure and fibrosis data, both available for german coalmining.

Activities/Methods:

Mortality follow-up of 4.581 coal miners over 18 years, analysis of pneumoconiosis from x-ray (ILO-classifikation), calculation of individual quartz dust exposure; modelling of correlations between dust exposure, pneumoconiosis development and cancer mortality.

Results:

Despite of the high quartz dust exposure no positive association to lung cancer risk could be demonstrated but a relationship with CWP was found (independent of smoking). Since a direct causal relationship between an interstitial and a bronchial disease appears to be implausible, a possible interpretation of these results points at pneumoconiosis as a biomarker for susceptibility to lung cancer. Neither fibrosis nor dust exposures are causally related to lung cancer risk in such a scenario. Interrelationships between dust exposure pneumoconiosis and cancer risk should be studied in future studies in more detail to explore this hypothesis.

Publications:

Third International symposium on Silica, Silicosis, Cancer and other Diseases. 21. - 25. October 2002, Santa Margharita Ligure - Portofino, Italy

Last Update:

28-Nov-2002

Project

Financed by:
  • Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften (HVBG)
Research institution(s):
  • Institut für Arbeitswissenschaft RAG
  • Institut für Arbeitsmedizin Universität Köln, Abt. Arbeitsmedizin
  • Deutsche Steinkohle AG
Branche(s):

mining

Type of hazard:

dangerous substances

Catchwords:

Krebserregende Stoffe, Berufskrankheit, Epidemiologie

Description, key words:

Coal mine dust exposure, quartz exposure, pneumoconiosis development, and lung cancer risk: Results from a mortality follow-up study in german coalmining